Morocco--Africa's only World Cup qualifying team-- have settled down to a hard programme of training and practice games at the Enrique Fernandez Martinez Stadium in Leon, central Mexico.
SV Players practicing with policeman in F/G
CU No. 10 Elfilali Mohammed
SV No. 11 Ghazouani Maouhoub
MV No. 18 Elkhyati Abdelkader
CU No. 13 Fadili Jilali
MV Players practice
LV Practice game in progress
SLV Game in progress (2 shots)
Possible marked 5050/70
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Background: Morocco--Africa's only World Cup qualifying team-- have settled down to a hard programme of training and practice games at the Enrique Fernandez Martinez Stadium in Leon, central Mexico.
The Moroccan team surprised everyone by walking out of their motel on the outskirts of the city after two days and moving into the only hotel with accommodation available -- in the middle of Leon's busy central square.
Team manager Blagoje Vidinic, a former Yugoslav international goalkeeper, said that although there were too many distractions for his players in the centre of town, the motel into which they had originally been booked did not meet their requirements.
Morocco ranks with Israel and El Salvador among the teams least favoured to win, but although their manager admits the odds are heavily against the Moroccans, he has pointed out that the history of the World Cup is full of surprises.
In 1950, England was defeated 1-0 by the United States and Italy lost 1-0 to North Korea in the last World Cup four years ago. Were it not for such unexpected upsets as these, Morocco's prospects of winning might be totally written off.
Meanwhile, the team practices in the Enrique Fernandez stadium-- a local sports centre opened in 1960 and used mainly for youth games. The other day they played a one-hour game against the local police team without the benefit of referee or lineman.
The all-amateur team's biggest asset, according to manager Vidinic, is their experience in playing in heat and high altitudes, conditions similar to those in Mexico.
SYNOPSIS: Morocco's World Cup squad practice with local police in Leon, Mexico. Number 10 is Elfilali Mohammed, half-back.
And here, forward Ghazouani Maohoub, Number 11.
Elkhyati Abdelkader, Number 18, is another Moroccan forward...
Fadili Jilali, Number 13, plays guard.
The team is practicing in the Enrique Fernandez Martinez stadium-- a local sports centre built in 1960 and used mainly for youth games. Here, they played without a referee.
Morocco ranks with Israel and El Salvador among the teams least favoured to win, but the World Cup has a history of surprises.
Team manager Blagoje Vidinic, a former Yugoslav international goalkeeper, points out that in 1960 England was defeated 1-0 by the United States, and four years ago North Korea beat Italy 1-0. Such unexpected upsets make Morocco' winning possible. And Vidinic's team has experience playing in heat and high altitude.