WATCH: The world-class facilities behind Morocco's success at World Cup

Moroccan players celebrating at 2022 FIFA World Cup
Moroccan players celebrating at 2022 FIFA World Cup

With Morocco having topped their group at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, it seems that the huge investment pumped into football in the country has paid off - most notably their R1.1 billion facility, the Mohammed VI Complex. Here's a look.

The story

It is difficult to say that Morocco have punched above their weight after topping Group F ahead of Croatia, Belgium, and Canada. It is work long in the making, as the country has been quite resolute about developing football to ensure that their national teams and even domestic teams perform at a high level and compete for international and continental trophies.

The Atlas Lions advanced to the knockout stage for the first time since 1986 after picking two wins and a draw in their three group games. They next face 2010 World Cup champions Spain in the round of 16 and here's a look at what has contributed to their success; the Mohammed VI Complex.

Award-winning African football journalist Usher Komugisha suggested the national team are reaping the rewards of their mega football project.

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The Royal Moroccan Football Federation says that the facility, which extends over 74 acres of land, is the largest of its kind on the continent and it is fitted with state-of-the-art amenities such as "four natural grass football fields, three artificial turf football fields, a covered football pitch, a hybrid football field, a re-training room that can host futsal matches, and an outdoor Olympic-sized pool, two tennis courts, and a Beach Soccer field," according to North Africa Post.

SAFA take notes!

Morocco's work is something that should be admired and copied by SAFA if they are to make any fundamental improvement to the ailing South African football. Since hosting the World Cup in 2010, many had hoped that football development in the country would be to of a high standard as was promised prior to the beginning of that tournament.

However, over a decade later, SA soccer national teams, excluding Banyana Banyana have bitterly digressed and many of the grassroots facilities developed 12 years ago are nowhere near up to standard.

Did you know?

The success of Morocco's concentrated effort is also reflected at club level as two Moroccan teams hold the two most-prized continental trophies. RS Berkane are the reigning CAF Confederations Cup champions, while Wydad Casablanca are the holders of the CAF Champions League.

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Your thoughts, please?

What can South Africa learn from Morocco's project?

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