The African Football Federation (CAF) on Tuesday awarded HM Mohammed VI, King of Morocco with its President’s Outstanding Achievement Award. The ceremony, took place in Kigali, Rwanda.
The trophy, “Caf President’s Outstanding Achievement Award” was presented by Fifa President Gianni Infantino and Caf President Patrice Motsepe to the minister of national education, pre-school and sports, Chakib Benmoussa.
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.
On this occasion, HM, the King addressed a message which was read by Minister Chakib Benmoussa, in which he stressed that the award bestowed on him is, first and foremost, a tribute to the genius of Africa and its vibrant youth.
The King of Morocco said the award represents a recognition of the choices he made to bring about the right conditions for their development and fulfilment adding that football is not just a sport, it is a work in progress and a long-term process .
He affirmed his devotion to make soccer a lever for success and sustainable human development in the Kingdom.
The Sovereign also said he shares with his brother President Paul Kagame – whom the Confederation of African Football also honored the same day “an unwavering confidence in our African continent, its youth and capacities,” noting that “we are working to make the most of that potential, without ever being satisfied with mere hopes, nor, for that matter, with our achievements.”
HM the King took the opportunity to pay tribute to Fifa President Gianni Infantino for his strong commitment to African soccer and to thank CAF President Patrice Motsepe for his leadership and action for the influence of African soccer and the resurgence of the credibility of its authorities.
“In addition to being a passion and the expression of creative skill and talent, football also implies a vision of the future, a long-term commitment, efficient, transparent governance, as well as investment in infrastructure and human capital,” the king said.
The Souverain also announced Morocco’s joint bid with Spain and Portugal to host the World Cup in 2030.
On his part, President Kagame affirmed that the African continent has great footballers, noting that the performance of the Moroccan national team at the Qatar World Cup was “a source of pride and honor for all Africans.”
The Rwandan president conveyed his congratulations to HM the King for this “important” achievement of the Moroccan team “which should be a source of inspiration”.
In his address, Fifa president Infantino said: “We are here to celebrate two exceptional personalities who have given so much to soccer and have changed the lives of millions of people,” noting that soccer represents joy, pride and happiness, and that FIFA is committed to providing children with the right environment to practice it.
Infantino also said that HM King Mohammed VI and Rwandan President Paul Kagame are two heads of state “who have contributed to change in their countries and believed in the ambitions of their people, and that soccer can change many things on the African continent”.
CAF president Patrice Motsepe said the award is an exceptional and historic ceremony for soccer as well as a recognition of the efforts made to promote the sport and strengthen its competitiveness and sustainability, praising, in this regard, the tremendous work done by HM King Mohammed VI and Rwandan President Paul Kagame and the commitment they have shown.
“We are proud of the historic achievement of the Moroccan team in the Qatar-2022 World Cup and we thank HM King Mohammed VI,” added Motsepe.
The ceremony was marked by the screening of a video recounting the epic of the Atlas Lions in the Qatar-2022 World Cup.