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2023 Women's World Cup

How Morocco turned women’s football investment into historic World Cup berth

Pooja La Photos

The year is 2018, and Nigeria has just been crowned champions of Africa, in the tournament now known as Women’s African Cup of Nations, for the ninth time. The mantle was meant to be passed on from Ghana to another African country. 

Central Africa was going to have its moment at hosting the continent’s behemoth competition. Congo was supposed to host the groundbreaking 12th edition of the WACON, but had to renounce their hosting rights. Defending champions Nigerian and two-time champions Equatorial Guinea, tabled a bid for the tournament but Morocco, out of nowhere beat them to this feat to host the 2022 event.

As the world continued to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, CAF awarded the tournament to Morocco. It is the first time a North African nation has hosted the prestigious continental tournament. With Stadiums which met FIFA’s standards, football technology like VAR and a serene environment, CAF couldn’t afford to pass them on.

On Wednesday, the investment paid off. Morocco defeated Botswana in the quarterfinal to qualify for the World Cup for the first time. A raucous home crowd of about 45,000 fans helped carry the team, making Morocco the first Northern African side to ever qualify for the World Cup. 

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