AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) - French President Emmanuel Macron traveled to Qatar on Wednesday to attend the World Cup semifinal match between France and Morocco, a politically charged encounter between the north African country and its former colonizer.
Macron was standing beside FIFA president Gianni Infantino in the stands at Al Bayt Stadium after the national anthems for both countries were played before kickoff.
He earlier visited a bazaar in Doha, the Qatari capital. Macron walked through a crowd at Souq Waqif wearing a scarf with the colors of the Qatari flag before getting into a car amid heavy security for the 50-kilometer (30-mile) trip from Doha to Al Khor for the match.
“France will win,” Macron said when asked for a prediction.
Morocco was ruled by France from 1912-56. Wednesday’s match has political and emotional resonance for both nations. It dredges up everything that’s complex about the relationship in which France still wields considerable economic, political and cultural influence.
Macron skipped a summit of European Union and southeast Asian leaders in Brussels to attend the match. The winner will play Argentina in the final on Sunday.
PHOTOS: Macron attends France-Morocco semifinal match at World Cup
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