Morocco's Abdelhamid Sabiri celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha on Sunday. Reuters
Morocco’s win over Belgium in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 sent a wave of joy and happiness across the Arab world on Sunday.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, took to Twitter to congratulate the Morocco national football team for their feat.
Sheikh Mohammad tweeted: “Atlas Lions ... Arab joy … Arab pride from the ocean to the Gulf.. Congratulations to Morocco.”
Sheikh Hamdan, Crown Prince of Dubai, also sent congratulatory message to the Morocco team through Twitter.
Sheikh Hamdan tweeted: “Congratulations to the Atlas Lions... Congratulations to Morocco. You made all Arabs happy with this result. Your victory is deserved and your performance is heroic.”
Abdelhamid Sabiri and Zakaria Aboukhlal's were on target as Morocco defeated Belgium 2-0 in Doha on Sunday.
Belgium could have qualified for the last 16 with a victory but their chances have been jeopardised after the loss.
The tens of thousands of Morocco supporters responded by cheering their team home at a raucous Al Thumama Stadium in Doha.
This World Cup is turning out to be full of surprises. This was the fourth upset win of the showpiece event.
It was Saudi Arabia, who set the trend by beating Argentina 2-1, in their first match. Japan and Iran followed the suit by beating Germany and Wales respectively before Morocco sprang another surprise by beating the team who are second in the FIFA rankings behind Brazil.
While Saudi Arabia doesn’t have a big star like Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, many of the players were also part of the squad that went to the 2018 World Cup. But none play outside of their home country.
More than 30,000 Argentina fans are in Qatar for this year's tournament and while many worship current number 10 Lionel Messi, Maradona's name still carries an almost mystical force.
Another favoured team has failed to impress in the early stages of the World Cup. This time it was South Korea holding South American power Uruguay to a 0-0 draw on Thursday, a result that probably favours the Asian team.
As the five-time champions prepared to take the pitch for their opening match against Serbia, the 82-year-old icon posted a series of photos of his past World Cup glories on Instagram, telling Neymar and his teammates: "Today we start writing a new story."
"Christian Atsu was pulled out injured. Our sporting director, Taner Savut, is unfortunately still under the rubble," club vice president Mustafa Ozak told Radyo Gol.
Taking place under the patronage of Sheikh Nahayan Bin Mabarak Al Nahayan, the event will be contested by 17 teams with some of the top names in the badminton world including Olympic medallists to lead their respective teams.
Aurelien Giraud, the French skateboarder, won the men’s Street 2022 World Championships at Aljada Skate Park in Sharjah, while Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal claimed gold in the women’s event.