The Moroccan team was honoured with a warm reception after arriving back home from Algeria, where they finished second at the TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
The team, led by their coach Said Chiba were hosted to a reception at the Mohamed V Complex in Casablanca, hosted by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation boss Fouzi Lekjaa
Morocco had a historic run in Algeria, qualifying to the final for the first time ever, but fell at the final hurdle with defeat to Senegal in last Friday’s final in Algiers.
A message from the Moroccan King was also delivered to the players, praising them for their exceptional performance as well as qualification for the World Cup.
السيد فوزي لقجع يستقبل أعضاء المنتخب الوطني لأقل من 17 سنة— FRMF (@FRMFOFFICIEL) May 20, 2023
📷Mr. Fouzi Lekjaa's welcoming the U17 National Team at Mohammed VI Football Complex pic.twitter.com/UeJXCNjM39
“It is with great joy that We extend to you Our warmest congratulations for the exceptional feat you have achieved by reaching the final of the Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations and ensuring your well-deserved qualification for the 2023 World Cup,” the message said.
The King further added; “These performances honor this country’s football. I am proud of the remarkable maturity and discipline, the fine performance, the great competitive spirit and the high well-established behavior of the team.”
Meanwhile, Lekjaa was delighted that investments made over the years for the development of football in the country are finally starting to bear fruit.
At the same time, head coach Chiba was delighted with the support the team received while in Algeria, saying it gave them the motivation to battle for their dreams.
He says the results in Algeria were as a result of teamwork, discipline and hard work, tenets he says were a pillar for their success. Chiba now says the team needs to build on these performances for future assignments, including the World Cup.