Morocco’s women are set to make their first appearance at a World Cup, having qualified by finishing as runners-up at last year’s Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, a tournament played on home soil.

The Atlas Lionesses’ success follows a period of investment supported by Morocco’s king, Mohammed VI, aimed at changing the country’s attitude towards women’s football.

As well as a new professional league, the national team now train alongside the stars of the men’s game at a $65m complex that bears the king’s name.

In a short documentary by BBC Sport Africa, the changing face of women footballers in Morocco was highlighted.

For instance, Sporting Club Casablanca is a Moroccan female football club that started four years ago. According to Moad Oukacha, the President of Sporting Club Casablanca, Morocco knew they had a lot of areas in need of improvement.

So, three years ago, Morocco launched a professional football league for women. Each team got subvention from the Royal Moroccan Football Federation.

Oukach justified the payment, “They will automatically feed the national team with players to make it the best in Africa and one of the best in the world.”

He revealed that the club has players from Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire. Each player earns a thousand US dollar a month.

One of the players spoke glowingly about the development. Hear Chaimaae Akrim, a defender at Sporting Club Casablanca: “Our club gave us stability and helped us develop our skills.

Another player, Yasmin Mrabet, a defender remarked: “Here, I really feel like a professional footballer. The investment that has yielded good results”.

Overall, the league has provided the women folk an opportunity.The national team trains at the $65million Mohammed VI complex.

The king is reported to be a keen football fan whose investment has seen Morocco soaring high in football.  According to BBC, Morocco has an annual budget of $65 million for women’s football.

Hear the national women’s team coach Reynald Pedros: “When I arrived, we discussed the project. To have the women’s national team regularly qualify for WAFCON and World Cup.

“To reach the World Cup quarter-finals is our ambition.”

The post Women’s World Cup 2023: Morocco and the women’s football revolution funded by a king appeared first on Sports Village Square.

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