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The symbolic match of the France Morocco World Cup begins

origin 1Morocco’s Bilal El Khannous trains during a training session at Duhail Stadium in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday, December 13, 2022. ©Andre Penner/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved

The World Cup match between Morocco and France got underway on Wednesday, with both teams kicking off at 20:00 CET.

Morocco’s resilient side have defied odds throughout the tournament and are hoping to defeat France in a match steeped in symbolism.

They are the first semi-finalists of the World Cup in Africa and the Arab world, with their football success a source of hope and pride for millions around the world.

Enthusiasm for the match built throughout the day in Doha, with Moroccan fans pouring into the stadium.

Players from the French team were booed profusely by the crowd as they entered the Stade al-Bayt, signifying the dominance of fans from the North African country.

Led by the likes of Kylian Mbappé, Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud, France wants to end Morocco’s fairytale run.

Despite being favourites, the defending champions know they will have to dig deep against the Moroccan side who beat Spain and Portugal — among others — thanks to their solid defence, creativity in the third-final and the support of thousands of fans who made the trip to Qatar.

Morocco became the first African and Arab country in history to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup by beating Portugal 1-0 on Saturday.

The match is steeped in political symbolism, as Morocco was colonized by France until the country gained independence in 1956.

The Moroccan diaspora in France is also the largest in Europe, with more than a million Moroccans living in the country