Home Sport Morocco honour ex-Dutch footballer after World Cup win over Spain

Morocco honour ex-Dutch footballer after World Cup win over Spain

Johannesburg — Morocco have been sheer class on and off the pitch at the World Cup as they honoured one of their own after qualifying for the quarter-finals this week.

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Heading into the tournament in Qatar, Morocco had never made it past the last-16 but they re-wrote the history books as they finished top of their group after two wins and one draw and beat Spain on Tuesday night in a penalty shoot-out.

Amid their euphoria, though, they also paid tribute to Abdelhak Nouri who suffered a heart attack while playing a friendly for Ajax Amsterdam in 2017.

The Moroccan, who was born in the Netherlands was resuscitated on the pitch instantly but still suffered severe, and permanent, brain damage.

And having been forced to prematurely end his career following his diagnosis, Ajax retired his No 34 jersey.

So after the game against Spain, the Atlas Lions side gathered to take videos and pictures as they hoisted the No 34 jersey that belonged to Nouri.

But the Moroccans will be hoping to keep their World Cup dream alive for people like Nouri when they meet Portugal in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

Victory in that game would be another history-making moment for Africa as no side from the continent has ever made the semi-finals of the World Cup.

@Mihlalibaleka

IOL Sport