Morocco, the only African country ever to participate in Eurovision, has a rather weak record at the contest. Having only participated once, with Samira Saïd’s “Bitaqat Hob”, it received just seven points, all from Italy.

But hope is brewing that things could change in the coming years. Morocco has established full diplomatic relations with Israel after 72 years — and naturally fans are hoping that may entice them back to the contest. (You’ll remember that they withdrew in 1981 because of Israel’s presence in the contest). Among those fans is KAN’s foreign relations editor Eran Cicurel, who has called on Moroccan broadcaster SNRT to participate once more.

Eran Cicurel calls on Morocco to rejoin Eurovision

KAN’s Eran Cicurel, a reporter and LGBT activist, has invited the North African country to rejoin the contest. His message was short and simple: “Morocco. Peace is Here. Israel and the Eurovision community want you back in the game.”

Morocco’s history at Eurovision

Israel and Morocco’s lack of diplomatic relations has had a great effect on Morocco’s participation in the contest. In 1980, following Israel’s double-win, Israel had to withdraw from the edition, which has held in The Hague. Morocco took the occasion when Israel wasn’t there and debuted at the contest. Then Israel came back to Eurovision in 1981, and Morocco had to withdraw, and it hasn’t rejoined since.

That is no coincidence — the Moroccan broadcaster cited Israel’s presence at the contest as a reason. The same happened with Lebanon in 2005, when Télé Liban had to withdraw three months after the deadline.

Morocco can, however, claim strong connections to recent winners. 2012 winner Loreen and 2018 winner Netta are both of recent Moroccan descent.

Diplomatic ties with Israel established

On Thursday night, the Associated Press (AP) announced the signing of a historic deal. The USA will recognise Western Sahara, while the two Mediterranean nations will make peace for the first time in 72 years.

Earlier this year the EBU clarified that Morocco are still eligible and that the EBU are in talks with them. We should point out that both Israel and Morocco already participate in other large-scale international events, such as the Olympic Games.

Would you like to see Morocco return to Eurovision? Who should represent them if they take part?

72 Comments
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Marouane
Marouane
11 months ago

We may return but in a matter of years from now, for the fact that esc is gay friendly and morocco still bans homosexuality, the good news is that there’s been rumours that the government is working on giving gay people their full rights..

MoroccoESC
MoroccoESC
6 months ago
Reply to  Marouane

Hey Marouane, where did you hear that the government is working on giving gay people their full rights? I’m moroccan and curious to know 🙂

ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
11 months ago

I’m pretty sure Morocco will never return to the contest because it’s an extremely conservative country and they certainly wouldn’t approve of the contest in its current form.

Sheeesh
Sheeesh
11 months ago

I think Azerbaijan will withdraw if Morocock debut tbh tbh

dxi
dxi
11 months ago

The more, the merrier.

Aris Odi
Aris Odi
11 months ago

My dream is for my favourite singer Faouzia to represent Morocco at Eurovision

Heyey
Heyey
11 months ago
Reply to  Aris Odi

I would also love to see Saad Lamjarred in the competition! His songs “Ghazali” and “Lm3allem” are bops, although I prefer the first one.

KESC
KESC
11 months ago
Reply to  Heyey

Do you also know “Ensay” and “Ykhalik Lili”? For me, these two are his best songs. “Lm3allem” is also very good tho.

Heyey
Heyey
11 months ago
Reply to  KESC

Yes, I’ve heard “Ykhalik Lili” and it’s also a very good song of his! I just somehow like “Ghazali” most. 🙂 I haven’t heard “Ensay” so can’t say my opinion of that song.

KESC
KESC
11 months ago
Reply to  Heyey

Just checked out “Ghazali” and wow, that’s also a great song! 🙂

Saad really knows how to deliver!

Marouane
Marouane
11 months ago
Reply to  Aris Odi

Also Abir, Ghita, Saad Lamjarred, Manal, Dièse…. They have a lot to offer.. especially in the esc stage.

Kirby
Kirby
11 months ago

OMG… that would be awesome!!! If that happens, the chosen comeback act could be Samira (Ben)Saïd. Have you seen her lastest Tik Tok music performance? Have you seen her album covers? She’s an artist who has walked along the decades, keeping up with musical and aesthetic trends. It would be just wonderful to see her again on the ESC stage.

Kirby
Kirby
11 months ago
Reply to  Kirby

Check “Mazal” or “Ott w Far” on YouTube, for example. …You’ll see what I mean. She’s a Queen!!!

Ben R
Ben R
11 months ago

This was literally the first thing I thought of when I found out the news. I immediately posted a discussion about it on the Eurovision subreddit!

Maya G
Maya G
11 months ago

Sorry to burst the bubble, but Morocco not being in the contest has nothing to do with Israel, so they’re not likely to make a comeback unfortunately. Israel and Morocco established full diplomatic relations in the 90s, and still Morocco had no intention to return to the contest. The diplomatic ties were severed in the early 2000s but Israel and Morocco kept cooperating were it came to fianance, import/export and tourism, nothing like the Lebanese who refuse to recognize Israel’s existence. I guess they’re just not interested in taking part, just like Turkey, Slovakia, Monaco and Luxembourg aren’t. Same for… Read more »

Agumon
Agumon
11 months ago
Reply to  Maya G

Exactly, this article just makes a ton of unsupported and unverified claims. Also Morocco and Israel have always had relations, so nothing formally changes.

Nils
Nils
11 months ago

Is there any chance to get an Eurovision phone case for Samsung Galaxy A 71 ?
At Wiwibloggs shop there are only for S-series and I don´t find for A anyplace.
Does somebody know a webside for Eurovision phone cases, where I can find a suitable case ?

waitaminuteholdon
waitaminuteholdon
11 months ago
Reply to  Nils

This made me cackle, thank you.

Linus
Linus
11 months ago
Reply to  Nils

why is he downvoted? help instead

RavensHeart
RavensHeart
11 months ago

The definition of Europe already seems to include Asia and Oceania, so why not add Africa to the mix too.

12 points from Argentina go to… JAPAN!

James
James
11 months ago
Reply to  RavensHeart

Morocco falls under the European Broadcasting Area and has full member-broadcasters in the EBU.

Ashton
Ashton
11 months ago
Reply to  RavensHeart

Careful sweetie, your xenophobia is showing.

Poli
Poli
11 months ago

If a country like Azerbaijan is an Eurovision regular, I don’t understand why Morocco couldn’t be. Of course it’s been ages since their last participation and I doubt that they prioritize Eurovision or even think about the whole competition at all.
Morocco would be a great addition to the contest though, at least music-wise. They have a lot of talented singers and a great music-scene. And it would be nice to hear some Arabic in the contest as well.

KESC
KESC
11 months ago
Reply to  Poli

…and why do you distinguish Azerbaijan now?

Linus
Linus
11 months ago
Reply to  KESC

damn you are SUPER protective off the 0% democratic countries like Turkey and Azerbaijan, Belarus.

Jesse
Jesse
11 months ago
Reply to  Poli

When Azerbaijan joined, four out of five neighboring countries were already in, including Turkey which whom they have a strong connection. They also play in European sporting competitions. Morocco is a totally different story. They share short borders with some small Spanish exclaces, but other than that they only border African countries that haven’t ever shown any sign of interest in Eurovision. Also, the comment about the Olympics in the article doesn’t mean anything. Every internationally recognized country (except the Vatican) takes part in the Olympics, as well as some that are only partially recognized and some dependent territories like… Read more »

Azaad
Azaad
11 months ago

Morocco is getting a lot of flack in the Arab world for this turn of events as this move was done to get American recognition of their claim to the Western Sahara. Moreover, with Biden coming into office the usual trajectory of international relations will likely return. Also, Morocco isn’t exactly LGBTQ+ friendly and so they’re likely to share the view of Hungary’s current government.

I think they would only return if Turkey did so, and maybe not even then. Morocco didn’t exactly wow people with their debut….

Jake
Jake
11 months ago
Reply to  Azaad

Songs with ethnic/turkic flavours were almost always underrated before the televote, Morocco’s entry is many people’s personal winner according to Youtube Tops.

Erik
Erik
11 months ago
Reply to  Jake

I’m not sure I get it. Why would Morocco send Turkic music?

moramento
moramento
11 months ago
Reply to  Azaad

I think actually Arab countries could do well at the contest nowadays. Morocco’s debut was exactly 40 years ago this year. I think it could do well, especially if they decide to send a song in French instead of Arabic

waitaminuteholdon
waitaminuteholdon
11 months ago

Meanwhile I’m still just here hoping for that MENA edition (a.k.a. ArabVision) that was talked about years ago. 22 countries, I think? That would be fun. Might do some good to achieve some unity in the region too.

Erik
Erik
11 months ago

Are you thinking about superstar? The Arab version of idols.

Hmm
Hmm
11 months ago

All the Northern-African countries have quite a lot of strict laws that ban LGBTQ+ rights as well lack of normal human rights, so it’s very unlikely that sudden relations between Morocco & Israel would change anything that much.

Even here in Europe there are laws against LGBTQ+ and equal human rights & respect is still needed. Things go slowly but steady towards future, but this idea of Morocco coming back to Eurovision is a bit too far sighted as of now

Well anyway nice to see good news

Paul
Paul
11 months ago

I’m sure returning to Eurovision will be Morocco’s first priority, now they’re friends with Israel again

Sabi
Sabi
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Hahaha its a Joke? For Morroco returning in ESC isn’t their Top pririty than trade exchange of trade, goods and visa liberalization between Moroccans and Israelis, because in the past Morocco was an exporter of Arab Jews when Israel was founded, and many Jews of Moroccan origin live in Israel despite the bad relationships before.

Pandaman
Pandaman
11 months ago
Reply to  Sabi

I’m pretty sure it is a joke, indeed.

Paul
Paul
11 months ago
Reply to  Sabi

Of course it was a joke!

waitaminuteholdon
waitaminuteholdon
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul

This is prime sarcasm, I thank you for it, honestly I do, Paul.

Iván el Conquistador
Iván el Conquistador
11 months ago

Israel and Morocco become allies and Spain is their main victim.

Saar
Saar
11 months ago

WTH??.

Wrath
Wrath
11 months ago
Reply to  Saar

Does he lie?

Rob
Rob
11 months ago

It’s true that Morocco entered in 1980 only because Israel was absent that year, but if the issue was the Israeli participation then why didn’t Morocco return in 1984 or 1997 when Israel couldn’t take part? Because the truth is that Morocco felt humiliated after the 1980 result which it perceived as a rejection of its presence there and a sign of European cultural condescension. There was either a royal decree or a governmental order banning the Moroccan state broadcaster from taking part in the contest again. Back in 1980 and all the way into the mid 1980’s Morocco was… Read more »

Joe
Joe
11 months ago
Reply to  Rob

The irony is that the one country that voted for it (and gave it a good score, too) was Italy. The 12 for Turkey Morocco gave felt like a Muslim nation “Hail Mary” but Turkey didn’t return the favor.

Jo.
Jo.
11 months ago

those people are on full #DareToDream mode

Sabi
Sabi
11 months ago

Also EBU must set human rights rules for those intertesed countries to take part in ESC because lastely the song contest is turning another EuroGay Pride that values liberalization and acceptance acts more than music and songs and that is already a challenge for conservative and dictatorships countries such as Russia, Hungary, Belarus, some Balkan countries, Turkey and the neighboring Arab countries, and it is one of the reasons why the EBU does not want to include Kazakhstan in the contest, but pretending that the USA is becoming interested and gladdly let invite them.

Sabi
Sabi
11 months ago

I dobut that Morrocco will want return to ESC even with Israeli relationship re-stablished because that country still very conservative society, they are not ready for Western flamboyance.

Thousands time said but anyway: Morroco and the other Arab countries don’t take part in ESC because this does not fit with their ”general social acceptance” at the moment, according to their governments of course. Something in the line of Turkey and hypocrital Hungarian goverment lastely.

Denis
Denis
11 months ago

When will Israel normalise relations with Palestine, it’s closest neighbour? Fix that first before you fix deals with countries far away. Civilians on both sides are fed up with the situation..
As for Morocco, why not? It would bring the contest a nice oriental touch that’s been missing since Turkey left. It would freshen up the sound of the contest for sure and would do well..

Azaad
Azaad
11 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Thing is, down the line, I can see an independent Palestine being much more likely to participate than other Arab countries (sans Lebanon)

ESC fan
ESC fan
11 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Peace with Narnia? I don’t think so ..

Maya G
Maya G
11 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Israel is only one of two sides in this equation, it can’t just decide on peace unilaterally. It takes cooperation and good will on both sides. I don’t want to get too political, so I’ll only suggest you read about the history of conflict in the last century, the attitude of both sides to two states propositions and peace talks over the years.
Relations with Morocco are available now, both sides are obviously cooperative and willing so why not? It’s not at the expense of a deal between Israel and the PA.

Denis
Denis
11 months ago
Reply to  Maya G

There are two sides yes, but Israel as the aggressor and the one with upper hand should be the one to work for piece seeing how they are taking more and more of Palestinian land every year and build illegal settlements on occupied land. That is not how you propose peace..

Maya G
Maya G
11 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Israel is stronger, it doesn’t make it the aggressor. Being a lefty I generally object to the settlement project, but the west bank isn’t occupied (if so – who was it occupied from?). It’s land in conflict, and the Israeli leadership has shown much more faith and willingness to resolve it than the Palestinian leadership. Since the 1930s, Every time a two state solution was on the table or a peace offer was made (and some of them were extremely generous, see PMs Barak and Olmert’s offers in 2000 and 2007 respectively) not only did the Palestinian leadership refuse, they… Read more »

Maya G
Maya G
11 months ago
Reply to  Denis

I wrote a reply but it’s pending approval, possibly for being too long, so I’ll make it short.
Israel is stronger, it doesn’t make it the aggressor.
reading your comment I gather you’re very familiar with the PA narrative of the conflict. Some of what you wrote is stretching the truth, to put it mildly. I suggest you examine the facts, and the Israeli narrative as well, with an open mind.

Erik
Erik
11 months ago
Reply to  Maya G

What?
It’s not “someone’s perspective” only 2 out of 5 borders of Israel are internationally recognised. The other 3 are disputed. This is because both Israel and Palestine acted without full support of the international community.

The existence of the conflict is a big failure. And neither of the two countries recognise each other’s existence. Both sides needs to change for progress to come on this

Erasmus
Erasmus
11 months ago

They won’t return. Isn’t it illegal to be gay in Morocco – so I can’t imagine them broadcasting lgbt flags, girls with lack of clothes and gay kisses. But we’ll see – also I’ve heard there’s like zero interest among the population + the broadcaster in the EBU is not rich and focuses on news and such.

Colin
Colin
11 months ago
Reply to  Erasmus

Unfortunately, Morocco, much like many North African and Mid Eastern countries, has some messed-up laws punishing LGBT people (it’s up to 3 years in jail there). But maybe the exposure to more tolerant countries would make them loosen-up step by step. First reducing sentences, then abolishing them, then slowly starting some protection laws. Sadly, a sudden 180 isn’t realistic, but we must not give up and continue going in that direction. That’s how it often went in other, now more liberal countries. Basic human rights shouldn’t be debated, but unfortunately, some ancient pseudo-religious laws are still pretty strong in some… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Colin
waitaminuteholdon
waitaminuteholdon
11 months ago
Reply to  Erasmus

I feel for the people of the countries with conservative mentalities and dictators, but I also don’t want them in Eurovision. We fought hard for acceptance and freedom, and even since some European countries have joined (won’t give names (it’s pretty obvious which ones)) that peace has slowly started disintegrating.
Perhaps it’s time EBU does something about that. A 2 year sit-out would do some participants good.

Rifki
Rifki
11 months ago

as much as I love the culture and the music, and despite the fact of previous participation, I don’t want Morocco to return. don’t turn Eurovision to Worldvision, and don’t use Australia, Caucasians, Cyprus, Israel and Turkey as excuses (same old lame excuses, I know). they should better get Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, Luxembourg, Montenegro and Slovakia to return, plus Liechtenstein to debut.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
11 months ago
Reply to  Rifki

How do you get those countries to return? They need to want to return.

Rifki
11 months ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

well, it’s impossible for all of them to return at once in the same year (I forgot mentioning Andorra. but I think at least two of them could return in 2022 or 2023. Andorra is the most likely.

Leafar
Leafar
11 months ago
Reply to  Rifki

I understand this POV but when you think about it Europe has strong ties with countries like Morocco. At least in France (where I live), I know that we have strong ones with Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Spain even has some land in Africa sharing a border with Morocco. A lot of people in Europe descend from these countries, still speak Arabic, and live in this mix of European and Maghreb culture. On the other hand, many people in these countries talk French (sadly due to colonization ofc) so it would be a big step to unite the Mediterranean Sea… Read more »

Rifki
11 months ago
Reply to  Leafar

no matter how strong Morocco’s connection is with Europe, they are still not in Europe. not everyone can understand this. yes, being inclusive is good, but there should be a limit of “inclusiveness”. if Morocco returns, I am afraid other MENA countries (even those that are in the broadcasting area) will moan for participation, and it’s not good.

Leafar
Leafar
11 months ago
Reply to  Rifki

Yeah I get what you’re saying but I still think that Europe goes beyond the continent. Moreover, I wouldn’t mind seeing those countries since to me Eurovision is just a party and a cultural event, it would be good for these countries living in our shadows to shine I think !

Erik
Erik
11 months ago
Reply to  Rifki

Turkey has always been in both Asia and Europe. I can’t see how you place them in the extended EBU-zone. They already are in Europe

Ashton
Ashton
11 months ago

As much as some people here hate having new(ish in Morocco’s case) countries join, I think it could be nice to have some Arabic representation in the contest. Imagine Andorra, Kazakhstan, and Morocco debuting/returning in 2021. That would be amazing.

Joe
Joe
11 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

Well, Andorra appears to be coming back in 2022 cuz they didn’t want to compete during COVID.

Mikey
Mikey
11 months ago

This is going to soon look like worldvision!!
Jokes aside Kazakhstan deserves esc!

Last edited 11 months ago by Mikey
Joe
Joe
11 months ago
Reply to  Mikey

Unlike Kazakhstan, Morocco is actually in the EBU

James
James
11 months ago
Reply to  Mikey

Morocco is a full member of the EBU, which is the general requirement to take part. Full membership is attained if a country falls under the European Broadcast Zone, which goes as far south as much of North Africa and as far east as Iraq and Azerbaijan.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
11 months ago
Reply to  James

Dare I ask: Why is this the case? Just curious.

James
James
11 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

From what I’ve researched some time ago, this is all a technical designation based on coordinates as dictated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The “European Broadcasting Area” is bounded on the west by the western boundary of Region 1, on the east by the meridian 40° East of Greenwich and on the south by the parallel 30° North so as to include the northern part of Saudi Arabia and that part of those countries bordering the Mediterranean within these limits. In addition, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and those parts of the territories of Iraq, Jordan, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey and… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by James
Joe
Joe
11 months ago
Reply to  James

Actually you can get full membership if you’re in that area OR if you’re a member of the Council of Europe, which Kazakhstan is eligible for (if they agree with human rights).