AL KHOR, Qatar ( Associated Press) — French President Emmanuel Macron said he is “extremely proud” that France reached the World Cup final after traveling to Qatar to watch the team beat Morocco in the semifinals on Wednesday. .
Macron sat next to FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the match at Al Bayt Stadium and applauded after the 2-0 win. France will face Argentina in the final on Sunday.
“I feel very proud of my country. “I am very happy,” Macron told reporters after the meeting. “I want the French to enjoy this simple pleasure.”
The French leader paid tribute to the “great” Moroccan team, which was the first African team to play in the semi-finals.
“Morocco played very well,” he said. “I want to tell the Moroccan people that they have a great team… I want to extend our friendship.”
Morocco was ruled by France from 1912 to 1956. Wednesday’s duel resonated politically and emotionally with both countries, highlighting the complexity of a relationship in which France still wields considerable economic, political and cultural influence.
Macron said he would return to Qatar on Saturday for the final at the Lusail Stadium. He joked that he was “too superstitious” to give his predictions. Before the match against Morocco, he immediately stated that “France is going to win.”
During his visit to the Gulf country, he also visited a market in Doha. Macron walked through crowds at Souq Waqf wearing a headscarf in the colors of the Qatari flag before getting into a vehicle amid heavy security for the 50-metre drive from Doha to Al Khor for the meeting.
Macron skipped a meeting of EU and Southeast Asian leaders in Brussels to attend the meeting.