The Moroccan under-17 team succeeded in qualifying for the semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations and reserved a place for it in the next World Cup, after defeating its Algerian counterpart 3-0.
Pictures of hugs that brought together the players of the Moroccan and Algerian national teams for under 17 years, after the end of a match that brought them together in eastern Algeria, sparked a wide interaction on social media during the past hours.
It came as a blow to everyone who expected that the match between the players of the two politically rival countries would not go unnoticed, and some considered it “more beautiful than the match itself” and one of the results that decided the match in favor of the Atlas Lions for less than 17 years.
The Moroccan under-17 team succeeded in qualifying for the semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations and reserved a seat for it in the next World Cup after beating its Algerian counterpart 3-0.
Despite the loss of the Algerian national team, the sportsmanship of the players was very high, and this position showed the true historical and close fraternal bond between the two countries.
Murad Al-Jijali wrote: “In the meeting between Morocco and Algeria for under 17 years, and after Morocco deserved victory, and after the final whistle, feelings were mixed for the boys, despite their young age. In a long embrace between them in a very touching scene, I say to you and to both parties, you were men, despite your young age, with the spontaneity and sincerity of children, and without calculations. You sent a strong message, stressing that peoples, despite the disagreement, cannot be classified as enemies.
In turn, and under the title “Photo of the Day”, Othman Makrani published pictures of hugs between the players after the end of the match at the Martyr Hamlawi Stadium in Constantine.
Karmawi Abdel Haq wrote in a post on Facebook, which he attached to the same photo: “An expressive picture that brings together the boys of Morocco and Algeria in this local derby. Close play, the Algerian team had pressure, so it did not focus well in the meeting, while the Moroccan team was completely comfortable. After the end of the interview, then a brotherly hug.” Between the two brotherly peoples, this is the ethics of sports, God willing, all of them.
Moamen Khalil published pictures of the players of the two teams, and attached them to the following comment: “Morocco of peoples. A deep-rooted truth.”
Bilateral relations between the two neighbors deteriorated, when Algeria announced in August 2021 the severance of diplomatic relations with Rabat, due to what it considered the “hostile actions” of the Kingdom.
At the time, Rabat expressed regret for this decision and rejected its “false justifications”.
Then, in November 2021, the Algerian presidency accused Morocco of bombing two Algerian trucks and killing three of its citizens in Western Sahara, which has been raging for decades in a conflict between Morocco on the one hand, and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front on the other hand.
Morocco had previously severed its relations with Algeria in 1976 after Algeria recognized the establishment of the “Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic”. Relations were not resumed until 1988, after Saudi mediation.