Have you ever wondered why FIFA abbreviates Morocco as MAR in its World Cup television coverage? The answer may surprise you and shed a bit more history and culture on this fabulous destination spot.

Morocco had a fairytale run in the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Few people would have imagined that the Atlas Lions would defeat European powerhouses like Spain and Portugal to go to the tournament’s semifinals. They defeated Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in the round of 16 to become the first African country to go to the World Cup’s final four.

Some fans were confused by the nation’s abbreviation on scoreboards as the country made its name in the World Cup. Many people have questioned why is Morocco MAR on the scoreboard. A look at the country’s past sheds light on the answer.

Why Is Morocco MAR On FIFA World Cup TV Coverage?

Each member nation of FIFA has a distinct three-letter country code, which identifies these nations during official competitions. The majority of World Cup participants have acronyms that are based on their names. For instance, Brazil, Argentina, and England are abbreviated as BRA, ARG, and ENG.

Some nations’ codes, however, do not perfectly correspond to their English names. Saudi Arabia is referred to as KSA, which stands for the country’s full name, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Spain is also referred to as ESP, which is the same as the nation’s name in both Spanish and: Espana/Espagne.

Another nation with a confusing country code is Iceland. Its code is ISL, which references Islande, the nation’s French name.

Why is Morocco Mar? Let’s look at one example. The explanation of Morocco’s country code is comparable to Iceland’s but a little more complicated. Morocco is the nation’s name in English, whereas Maroc is the nation’s name in French.  The word MAR stems from the country’s French name.

France began to extend its colonial empire to North Africa in the early 1800s, where it formed a protectorate in what is now Morocco. Morocco gained its independence from France in 1956, yet the French influence is still seen today. Morocco’s official languages now are Arabic and Tamazight (a local indigenous language), although French still has a significant influence in the nation as a legacy from the colonial past.

Morocco World Cup History

Morocco has only qualified for the FIFA event six times, most recently for the 2022 World Cup. In their previous five efforts, they failed to get past the Round of 16 and only reached the knockout round once.

With the team winning more games in four matches this year than they did in their previous five World Cups, 2022 was their strongest campaign to date.

See For Yourself Why Is Morocco Mar

Ready to visit Morocco? Plan for ten days to two weeks to leisurely enjoy your travels. By experiencing a multicultural French influence with hassle-free excursions, fine wine, food, and culture, it will be a trip of a lifetime. Bon Voyage!