By Bouchra CHAKIR- Journalist and Coordinator of the Pan-African Caucus of Journalists – Morocco
Tangier, the cosmopolitan city that fascinated artists and writers dazzled yesterday Wednesday, February 01, 2023 with its charm and
hospitality, athletes and supporters from all over the world. The kick-off of the 19th edition of the Club World Cup began with a grand
and historic inaugural ceremony before the Mondialito opened with the inaugural match between Al-Ahly of Egypt and Auckland City of New Zealand.
This historic inauguration which fascinated the whole world by its quality but also by its messages of diversity, openness and tolerance, paid tribute to King Pelé, legend of world football, triple world champion with Brazil and who died on December 29, 2022 in the age of 82. An iconic photo of King Pelé hugging Jairzinho after the goal scored in the 1970 World Cup final, was placed in the center of the stadium which bore the name of Ibn Battouta (in tribute to the Moroccan explorer and traveler who was born in Tangier).
The act in honor of Pelé was announced by the coach of the Moroccan national team, Walid Regragui, ranked in 2022 as the best Arab and African coach and among the best coaches in the world. The Moroccan coach reminded the public of the football legend and immediately a huge projection of a photo of Pelé was displayed on the stadium lawn.
As a reminder, relations between Morocco and Brazil do not date from today, on the contrary they are ancestral, because post-independence Morocco and Brazil officially established diplomatic ties in 1962, the year Brazil appointed an ambassador in Rabat. Nevertheless, these relations date back to the 19th century, under the reign of Sultan Moulay Slimane.
Morocco was the first country to recognize the independence of Brazil and the first in Africa to have established, since 1884, diplomatic relations with Brazil. Moreover, Moroccans of the Jewish faith were the first citizens of the Orient to initiate ties with Brazil in the 19th century. Capitalizing on their historical ties and common values, the two countries have shown strong and continuous support for each country's position and role in international bodies. The visit made by His Majesty King Mohammed VI to Brazil in November 2004 gave impetus to bilateral relations. Since then, relations have been generally characterized by their positive development and by the convergence of the points of view of the two countries on major regional and international issues.