The Moroccan monarch presented the members of the national team with the Royal Ouissams for their great role in the World Cup in Qatar at an official reception which was also attended by the mothers of the players

Mohammed VI decorates members of the Moroccan national football team


The Moroccan national football team thrilled and excited an entire country, Africa and the Arab world in general thanks to its achievement at the World Cup in Qatar. The team coached by Walid Regragui managed to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup, something that no African or Arab team had ever achieved before. And to pay a well-deserved tribute, King Mohammed VI received the entire squad and coaching staff at an official ceremony in Rabat, with the presence of some very important figures: the mothers of the players in the national team.  

Mohammed VI, accompanied by Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan and Prince Moulay Rachid, received the members of the national team in the Throne Room of the Royal Palace in Rabat after their great performance at the World Cup in Qatar.  


The event was a further demonstration of the Moroccan sovereign's support for sport and football in the North African country in general. Since his accession to the throne in 1999, the process of national modernisation undertaken by the Moroccan king has encompassed all areas, from the political to the social, as well as the sporting. Football has not been left out of this process of evolution, and the national authorities have encouraged the development of academies and facilities that have fostered the sporting and academic development of young Moroccans.  

During the royal audience, Mohammed VI decorated with Royal Ouissams (also known as Order of Sovereignty or Order of the Throne), the highest distinction awarded by the Kingdom of Morocco, the president of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation, Fouzi Lekjaa, the coach, Walid Regragui, and the players of the national team, who were accompanied by their mothers. 


His Majesty the King awarded the Ouissam Al Arch 2nd class (Commander) to Fouzi Lekjaa and Walid Regragui and the Ouissam Al Arch 3rd class (Officer) to the players of the national team: Ghanem Saïss, Yassine Bounou, Achraf Hakimi, Noussair Mazraoui, Sofyan Amrabat, Nayef Aguerd (Mohammed VI Football Academy Laureate), Hakim Ziyech, and Azzedine Ounahi (also a Mohammed VI Football Academy laureate), Abderrazak Hamdallah, Anass Zaroury, Abdelhamid Sabiri, Mounir El Kajoui, Ilias Chair, Zakaria Aboukhlal, Selim Amallah, Abdessamad Ezzalzouli, Sofiane Boufal, Jawad El-Yamiq, Youssef En-Nesyri (Mohammed VI Football Academy laureate), Achraf Dari, Walid Cheddira, Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti (Mohammed VI Football Academy laureate), Bilel El Khanouss, Badr Benoun, Yahia Attiat-Allah El Idrissi and Yahya Jabrane, as reported by the Moroccan news agency MAP. 

The King of Morocco also gave his high instructions for the presentation of royal decorations to the entire technical and medical staff of the national team in recognition of their exceptional work.


The Order of the Throne is a decoration awarded to compatriots who render distinguished services of a civil or military nature and can only be awarded by the Moroccan monarch. The medal first appeared during the reign of King Hassan II on 16 May 1963, when the order for its establishment was issued. 

After this formal ceremony, Mohammed VI, accompanied by Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan and Prince Moulay Rachid, posed for a historic photo with the members of the national team and the mothers of the players present. Meanwhile, the footballers presented His Majesty the King with various mementos in gratitude for the support given to sport and football throughout this time and for the support given during the World Cup in Qatar, in which the Moroccan national team finally achieved a historic fourth place.  


The solemn reception of the players' mothers was a gesture of homage and recognition to these Moroccan women who have instilled in their children the values of patriotism, sacrifice and respect for the family and for their country. The figure of women is considered a basic pillar in the family and society in general in the North African country and, of course, they have played a decisive role in the personal training of the members of the national team, who were an example of work, companionship and effort to defend the national colours in order to achieve this sporting milestone.  

Mohammed VI had already launched messages and speeches of thanks and recognition to the national team for their achievement at the World Cup in Qatar before the royal reception. The King of Morocco praised the "historic and unprecedented achievement" of the Moroccan national team in Qatar. The Alawi monarch stressed that the members of the Moroccan national team managed "with brilliance and merit to reach the semi-finals". He also highlighted their "great professionalism, high competitiveness, sincere patriotism and noble human values" that led the North African team to achieve one of the greatest "feats" for "Moroccan, Arab and African football".


Meeting the fans

The members of the national team returned to the Kingdom on Tuesday and were treated to a mass bath in various Moroccan cities such as Rabat and Salé, where Moroccan citizens were able to get a close-up view of the Qatari heroes. The Atlas Lions were given a standing ovation by a crowd that turned out en masse to cheer them on and recognise their courage and fighting spirit. Tens of thousands of Moroccans gathered to welcome the national team. The members of the Moroccan national football team were shown to the public in a convertible bus with the Moroccan flag and the slogan "Dima Maghrib", from where they could look out over the cheering Moroccan fans who wanted to recognise the great role played by the team in the World Cup.  

Moroccan fans took to the streets of the capital, Rabat, with fireworks and waving flags in tribute to the players who rode the bus in uniforms and ties under heavy security. The players exchanged greetings with Moroccan fans, the vast majority of whom were wearing national team shirts.  


The players and their coach Walid Regragui greeted the crowd and wanted to immortalise the moment with numerous photos and videos. The bus carrying the national team headed to the Royal Palace for a special reception by King Mohamed VI to congratulate the team and celebrate the great sporting achievement.  

Everything took place with order and great organisation, in contrast to the return of the world champions, Argentina, which did not have a special arrangement to allow the players to be close to the public. Various sectors and media in Argentina acknowledged the good organisation of the reception given to the Moroccan national football team.