The World In Stamps

A journey in a stamps collection

The 1998 FIFA World Cup in France: Morocco 1998

The 1998 FIFA World Cup, a football world championship for men’s national teams, took place in France. It was organized from June 10 to July 12, 1998. FIFA chose France to host the event for the second time in the tournament’s history. This was the 16th  world cup and the ninth time the toutnament is organized in Europe and for the second time in France. The first time the FIFA held the world cup in France was in 1938.

The 16th Football World Cup was the longest staged, lasting 32 days. This was because of the increasing of the the stage from 24 teams to 32 teams for the first time in the competition.

The 1998 FIFA World Cup in France - Moroccan Stamp -1998-YT-1223
The 1998 FIFA World Cup in France – Moroccan Stamp -1998-YT-1223

The opening and championship game were held at the newly constructed Stade de France in the Parisian municipality of Saint-Denis. The other 63 matches of the competition took place in 10 stadiums throughout 10 host towns. In this edition for the international tournament, South Africa, Jamaica, Japan, and Croatia made their first finals appearances.

Morocco in the World Cup

Morocco qualified  to the finals on six occasions, in 1970, 1986, 1994, 1998, 2018 and 2022. The Moroccan team reached the round of 16 in 1986 in Mexico, but in 2022 they made the surprise; as Morocco reached the semi-finals and was ranked fourth in the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

In the 1998 edition, five African nations qualified for the tournament:  Cameroun, Morocco, Nigeria, South AFrica and Tunisia. This was the fourth appearance of the Moroccan team in the World Cup finals.

In 1998 FIFA world cup, the draw put the Moroccan team in the group A with Brazil, Norway and Scotland. The Moroccan team lost to Brazil, and defeated Scotland, while its match against Norway ended in a draw with two goals for each team. With these results, the Moroccan team classified third in its group and left the world cup.

Semi-Finals and Final game

In 1998, Brazil, Croatia, France and Netherlands arrived to the semi finals. But France, the tournament’s host nation, defeated Brazil 3-0 in the final match and won its first football world cup. 

After Uruguay, Italy, England, West Germany, and Argentina, who won their first World Cup, France became the seventh country to do so and the sixth to do it on home soil. Croatia who reached the finals for the first time was ranked in the third position.

In addition to Paris and Saint-Denis, the cities of MarseilleLyonSaint-ÉtienneMontpellierToulouseBordeauxNantes and Lens hosted the World Cup matches.

To commemorate this sports event, the Moroccan post issued a stamp.

Catalogue Reference: Yvert & Tellier #1223.

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