Sakina Ouzraoui eyes Morocco Olympic berth

Edwin  - CEO April 3, 2024
Updated 2024/04/04 at 3:59 AM
3 Min Read
Ouzraoui-Heureuse Image credit: CAFonline
Ouzraoui-Heureuse Image credit: CAFonline

‘Participating in the Olympics is another dream that we want to achieve’


Sakina Ouzraoui has her sights set on Olympic qualification. Image credit: CAFonline


  • Sakina Ouzraoui has her sights set on Olympic qualification.
  • Morocco will compete for its place in the Olympic Games against Zambia over two legs.
  • “The new coach has instilled a sense of belief in the team.”


Tuesday, September 26, 2023, will always be a special day for Morocco’s Sakina Ouazraoui. She opened her national team scoring account against Zambia in what was, unfortunately, a crushing 6-2 defeat to the Copper Queens, CAFonline reports.


A lot has changed since then, with Jorge Vilda arriving in the Atlas Lionesses’ camp as the team prepares to face the Zambians over two legs to contest a place in the Paris 2024 Olympics.


Motivated than ever since their crushing defeat to Zambia and impressive showing at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Ouazraoui speaks to CAFOnline about the potential of going to the Olympics and the team’s growth. Morocco will face Zambia for a place in the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament. What can we expect from the Atlas Lionesses?


 Sakina Ouazraoui: I think it’s an elimination round like any other; we won’t put more pressure on ourselves than that. Zambia is a team we know very well. We faced them in a double confrontation last September. The result was not in our favor (editor’s note: two defeats: 2-0 and 6-2), but I think we are a completely different team now. We are more ambitious, and our game has evolved. One thing is sure: we believe in ourselves, and we will fight until the end.


What lessons did you learn from your last meeting against the Copper Queens?


Unlike Zambia, who were much more diligent, we lost control of the match. During those defeats, we learned a lot about ourselves and them. We know that this is a team with super-fast players. They played a lot on the counter-attack with Barbra Banda’s attacks. It’s up to us to keep an eye on things now.


Since October, Jorge Vilda, a world champion with Spain, has been Morocco’s coach. Can you describe his style and coaching method?


He imposed a particular vigor on the team, which shows that our game is more structured. It’s a game based on possession, and he wants us to play well. He wants to see us take charge and lead. What is crucial for him is to have a pleasant game and, above all, have fun.


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