Football is the country’s most popular sport, popular among the urban youth in particular. In 1986, Morocco became the first Arab and African country to qualify for the second round of the FIFA World Cup.
Morocco was originally scheduled to host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, but refused to host the tournament on the scheduled dates because of fears over the ebola outbreak on the continent.
At the 1984 Olympic Games, two Moroccans won gold medals in track and field. Nawal El Moutawakel won in the 400 metres hurdles; she was the first woman from an Arab or Islamic country to win an Olympic gold medal.
Saïd Aouita won the 5000 metres at the same games. Hicham El Guerrouj won gold medals for Morocco at the 2004 Summer Olympics in the 1500 metres and 5000 metres and holds several world records in the mile run.
Spectator sports in Morocco traditionally centered on the art of horsemanship until European sports football, polo, swimming, and tennis were introduced at the end of the 19th century.
Tennis and golf have become popular. Several Moroccan professional players have competed in international competition, and the country fielded its first Davis Cup team in 1999.
Rugby came to Morocco in the early 20th century, mainly by the French who occupied the country. As a result, Moroccan rugby was tied to the fortunes of France, during the first and second World War, with many Moroccan players going away to fight.
Like many other Maghreb nations, Moroccan rugby tended to look to Europe for inspiration, rather than to the rest of Africa.
Kickboxing is also popular in Morocco. The Dutch Badr Hari, heavyweight kickboxer and martial artist, is a former K-1 heavyweight champion and K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 and 2009 finalist.
Morocco also is one of the five African countries which quarified in the 2018 World cup which will begin on 14th June 2018 in Russia.