Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Spain is in mourning, but local Moroccans are ecstatic about the FIFA World Cup surprise

Spain in mourning, local Moroccans rejoice at FIFA World Cup surprise


BARCELONA/MADRID: After Spain's World Cup defeat by Morocco on penalties on Tuesday, the nation's supporter base flooded the streets of Barcelona, Madrid, and Melilla with cheers, flares, and flags.

Morocco supporters stole the show as their team defeated Spain 3-0 on penalties to advance to the quarterfinals, despite the crowds crammed into bars decked out in the red and yellow Spanish flag.

Morocco's Achraf Hakimi, who was brought into the world in Madrid, got the unequivocal spot kick in the shootout.

Morocco and Spain have a long history of rivalry as well as shared cultural influences, beginning with the Muslim conquest of Iberia in the eighth century and continuing through the Spanish Reconquista, which has resulted in rocky diplomatic relations over the past few decades that have frequently been disrupted by migration issues.

As a result of their team's elimination from the tournament, Spain fans were depressed.

In a bar in Barcelona, Julia Calvet, 21, said, "We go back to Spain crying, and we will have to reflect."

In a quick tweet, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez offered some consolation: We have been ecstatic and proud of you."

"Nothing ends here...Let's keep moving forward, keep competing, and keep fighting," the Spanish royal family tweeted.

After Spain had dominated possession but failed to break through the stout Moroccan defense, some fans had philosophical thoughts about the defeat.

"They haven't let me down because they have played very well, but I'm a little sad. Rafael Gomez, 27, who was sitting in a Barcelona bar wearing a Spanish flag and watching the game, said, "We could have won against Morocco, a team that is not very strong. They have played defending all the time."

However, according to official data, the Moroccan population of Spain—the largest foreign community that accounts for 16% of all foreign residents—had a very different night.

Morocco fans celebrated by lighting flares and singing in the central Raval neighborhood of Barcelona.

Anass, a Moroccan cook who is 22 years old and lives in the center of Barcelona, told Reuters, "We needed to win so that Moroccans have confidence in themselves in Spain." We also hope to advance to the final!"

According to national broadcaster TVE, in Melilla, Spain's north African enclave that borders Morocco, people cheered, danced, and honked their horns in celebration.

In the event of post-match disturbances, Spain's police force had sent additional officers, but the majority of celebrations were peaceful.

After Morocco gained independence in 1956, Spain kept the enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta, which had been colonial territories.

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