The African Football Federation (CAF) awarded Morocco’s King Mohammed VI with its President’s Outstanding Achievement Award on Tuesday, in a ceremony that took place in Kigali, Rwanda.
The award was presented by FIFA President Gianni Infantino and President Patrice Motsepe to Morocco’s Minister of Education and Sports Chakib Benmoussa, who accepted it on behalf of the King.
The award was given in recognition of the remarkable developments in Moroccan football over the year 2022, and the contributions it had to the development of African football.
“I should like to say how delighted I am to receive this CAF President’s Outstanding Achievement Award for the year 2022. I accept it with great pleasure,” the King said in a message addressed to CAF.
“I would like to salute the presence of Mr. Gianni Infantino, President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association and commend him on his strong commitment to African football,” he added.
“I also wish to thank the President of the Confederation of African Football, Mr. Patrice Motsepe, for his leadership and his action for the development of African football and the renewed credibility of its institutions,” the message continued.
Moroccan football reached new highs in 2022.
At the club level, Moroccan teams dominated African football, with Wydad AC winning the CAF Champions League and RS Berkane taking home the CAF Confederation Cup title.
More notably, the country’s national teams left their mark on the international and continental stage. The country’s national women’s team reached the final of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) and qualified for the 2023 World Cup for the first time in its history.
The men’s national team embarked on a historic run at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which saw them achieve a fourth-place finish. The Atlas Lions’ finish marked the team’s best achievement in the competition’s history for an African or Arab nation.
The King was a vocal supporter of both teams during their run, congratulating the women’s team for reaching the final and even joining street celebrations in Rabat after the men’s team beat Spain in the World Cup’s round of 16.
In December, the monarch received the men’s national team players at his palace in Rabat, awarding them, their coach, and the Royal Moroccan Football Federation’s (FRMF) President Fouzi Lekjaa with royal Wissams (medals).
At the CAF ceremony, Benmoussa also announced that Morocco would be joining Spain and Portugal in their bid to host the 2030 World Cup.