Cameroon legend and 1988 African Nations cup winner Thomas Libiih, has stated that he is not surprised by Morocco’s desire to host the 2025 AFCON and the 2030 FIFA World cup.
The football trainer, who won the 1988 AFCON hosted by Morocco with the indomitable lions of Cameroon and also led the Cameroon’s U17 National team to continental glory in 2019, is amazed by the rate of infrastructure and football development in the North African Nation.
“We should say a big congratulations to Moroccans because it is visible in all aspects, be it football or other aspects,” Thomas Libiih said of Morocco’s infrastructure development.
Morocco last hosted the AFCON in 1988, with Cameroon beating Nigeria 1-0 in the final to claim the trophy. Now coach of Cameroon league two side Racing of Bafoussam, Libiih was part of that generation of indomitable lions, that had the likes of Emmanuel Kunde, Roger Milla and Joseph Antoine Bell.
“We had the opportunity when Morocco last hosted the Africa Cup of Nations. It’s been years, but we had the opportunity to be part of the team. Then we were very young. When you look at Morocco of 1988 and Morocco of today, I think the improvement of the country is more than one can imagine. They’re developing in all aspects.
“During that 1988 tournament, the present president was still young. He had the chance to greet us. Then we were the main actors, so they greeted us during the finals. Being around then he learned a lot. I think he is still keeping track with his father’s. I think he continued in good sense of everything that could be done and positively,” Libiih added.
Moroccan Football is fast developing and currently amongst one of the best in the world. Winning back-to-back African Nations championship in 2018 on home soil and 2021, women’s AFCON runners-up, plus being the first African country to reach the semi-final of the FIFA World Cup, reflects the results of their investment over the years.
“When you look at Morocco, they’re developing everyday and in all aspects. I’m not surprised to see that they want to host the AFCON or a FIFA world cup. I think they have even encouraged many other countries who don’t have standard stadia or under suspension, to come and play in Morocco. So they’re working not only for the development of their country, but also for the development of the entire African continent.
“I am so flattered to know that a young president is doing such a great job and Moroccans are very happy about their country, and are living there in total serenity. That’s what we want to see from Africa,” 55-year-old Thomas Libiih stated.
The first and only time an African Nation hosted the world cup was in 2010 in South Africa, but Libiih thinks Morocco’s bid will definitely get the backing of the entire continent.
“I think it’s a welcome initiative to see them want to host the AFCON or the world cup and I think they will definitely have the support of the other African countries.
“So for me I think it’s a high level footballing Nation, even in the 1988 when they had all those big players. Morocco has always presented a big image in the eyes of the world. So it think it’s fantastic to know that Morocco wants to host AFCON 2025 and 2030 world cup. The have the necessary infrastructure more than even what CAF and FIFA are demanding,” Libiih concluded.
Morocco is fresh from hosting the FIFA Club World cup and will host the U23 AFCON in June this year.
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