At the ongoing 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Morocco has achieved a dramatic success, knocking out Spain and Portugal, and now becoming the first African and Arab team to reach the World Cup semi-finals.
But they are not the first or only Muslim country to have made this remarkable achievement.
Other Muslim countries, in the history of the World Cup, managed not just only to go past the group stage, but rather leave behind an impressive record.
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Morocco made history in 1986 by being the first Muslim country to qualify for the knockout stage; they even topped their group in Mexico. However, they went on to lose 0-1 to West Germany in the next round.
Saudi Arabia took part in the 1994 World Cup and achieved great success by reaching the knockout stage. Though Saudi Arabia took part in five more World Cups after that, they never got past the group stage. One of their players, Said Al-Oweiran scored a wonderful goal which is still considered one of the World Cup best goals ever.
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Nigeria took part in a football World Cup for the first time in its history in 1994 and reached the round of 16. They were just few minutes away to make history and qualify for the quarterfinals, only to lose to succumb their lead and lost 1-2 to Italy at the end.
The Super Eagles repeated this success in 1998, qualifying for the knockout stage and 2014 World Cup, but has never gone past that stage.
Turkey appeared at the finals of the FIFA World Cup on two occasions: 1954 and 2002. The Japan-South Korea 2002 World Cup was Turkey’s best achievement ever in when they finished third behind only Brazil and Germany.
Senegal qualified for the World Cup on three occasions. Their best achievements were in 2002 where they reached the quarter-finals.
In the ongoing Qatar 2022, they reached the Round of 16 but was defeated by England 3-0
Algeria appeared in the finals of the FIFA World Cup on four occasions in 1982, 1986, 2010 and 2014. They once qualified for the knockout rounds, reaching the round of 16 in 2014 before losing to Germany.
32 years before, Algeria was eliminated after they nearly qualified to the second round of the 1982 World Cup, beating both the then West Germany and Chile. However, a controversial match between the German and Austria sides was heavily criticized as being staged to eliminate the Algerians in what was known as the “Disgrace of Gijon”.