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Morocco in AfCON through history: Recovering lost time

After having assured its presence in the African Cup of Nations, 16 times, Morocco is preparing to secure its 17th participation in AfCON 2019 scheduled in Egypt next summer. They will be 17 AfCON to be played by Morocco since the creation of the African competition in 1957 and which will celebrate the 32nd edition in June 2019.

At the next AfCON in Egypt next summer, Morocco wants to recover the time lost after shining by his absence during no less than 7 editions between 1957 and 1974. Meanwhile, he began by playing the preliminary round in 1970 before settling for the first round in 1972.

Indeed, Morocco was absent during the AfCON 1957, 1959, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1968 and 1974 when it was simply not registered. Morocco had boycotted the 1974 AfCON to express its protests against FIFA against Zaire who had illegally qualified at this year’s World Cup at the expense of the national team with the help of a scandalous arbitration.

But the eclipse in the other AfCONs was due to the choice of Morocco, which preferred European and world competitions instead of African ones. True or false, Morocco had missed several opportunities to win at least one continental title since it enjoyed at that time a seductive national selection, a training able to play the game and hold the dragee high African selections of which Egypt. The land of the Pharaohs took advantage of the absence of that of the Atlas to spread its forces on the Continent arriving today to win 7 trophies since the launch of the AfCON in 1957 and 1959 through 1986 and 1998 until ‘to the 3 consecutives in a row in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

Morocco, it has only managed one and one title ripped in 1976. It was really a shame for the Moroccan football which had given birth to several selections at all levels continental, world but also Olympic. Just remember the first participation in the Mexican World Cup in 1970 after having flirted with the 1962 against the playoffs against Spain in 1961. To reach the Iberian dam that had ignited all Africa, Morocco won all its matches at continental level of qualifications for the 1962 World Cup, performances that were likely to qualify for the African Cup. But Morocco saw differently with a spirit elsewhere.

After this Euro-African duel won with difficulty by Spain (3-2), the countries of the Continent that all supported Morocco had manifested their anger while deciding to boycott the 1966 World Cup unanimously. As a result, the African countries had signed a joint petition to demand FIFA to have a continental place in the World Cup and without going through a barrage against a European team. What the world’s leading body had taken into consideration to give Africa first place. Fate had done well for Morocco, which was often the only player for the good of the African football by becoming the first nation in the Continent to qualify for the World Cup, following the playoffs after Egypt, which already had had this luxury in 1934 but without going through the traditional preliminary tournament.

This confirms well and since the launch of the continental championship that Morocco still had its place in the world football elite before making the turn in Africa and compete with the major of the continent including AfCON.

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