Morocco star Jawad El Yamiq reflects on incident with Portugal defender Pepe at World Cup

Morocco’s Jawad El-Yamiq commented on his incident with Portugal centre-back Pepe during their quarter-final encounter in the World Cup.

The Atlas Lions have had a sensational tournament and became the first African side in history to reach the World Cup semi-finals after eliminating Spain and Portugal.


They also finished top of Group F despite being placed alongside World Cup runner-ups Croatia, world no. 2 Belgium, and a talented Canadian side.

However, Morocco had to settle for fourth place after losing 2-0 to France before suffering a 2-1 defeat to Croatia in the third-place playoff.

During their clash with Portugal, Morocco had a nervy spell in the latter stages of the game and had to sustain immense pressure from their opposition.

Veteran defender Pepe spurned a golden opportunity to score the equaliser late in the game as his header went wide from close range.

Morocco’s Jawad El-Yamiq immediately reacted to Pepe’s miss by kissing the Portuguese on his forehead as a sign of gratitude.

The bizarre moment sparked controversy on social media but El-Yamiq has finally commented on the incident, saying: “I received many messages regarding kissing Pepe’s head.

“As you all saw, this was a clear goal-scoring opportunity for them and when Pepe missed, I kissed his head in astonishment because that was a sitter.”

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