Ever wonder why Morocco is 'MAR' on TV coverage?
There may have been questions among the fans witnessing the Fifa World Cup over why Morocco are abbreviated as 'MAR' during TV coverage?
Morocco are having a dream run at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Not many would have predicted that the Atlas Lions would reach the semi-finals of the tournament by beating the European heavyweights like Spain and Portugal.
In fact, they are the first African nation to reach the last four of the World Cup after they edged out Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in the round of 16. Walid Regragui's side face one of the tournament favourites in France next and are just two wins away from writing, probably, the greatest chapter in World Cup history.
Fans across the globe are following their heroics closely and many have wondered why Morocco's abbreviation reads 'MAR' on the scoreboard during matches.
Every FIFA member association is given a code that is used to represent the nationality in a shortened form for broadcast purposes and other official graphical representations.
It is usually the first three alphabet letters that are used when determining the abbreviations. For example, England is represented as ENG, Germany as GER and Argentina as ARG.
However, Morocco is abbreviated as MAR. While the official languages of the country are Arabic and Berber, there remains a huge number of French residents in Morocco as they only gained independence from France in March 1956.
The French word for Morocco is Maroc, and hence FIFA uses MAR as its official abbreviation.
However Morocco is not the only country to have an offbeat abbreviation. Saudi Arabia turned heads with their phenomenal display against Argentina and they are abbreviated as KSA, which stands for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, Iceland and Romania are abbreviated as ISL and ROU because their respective French names are 'Islande' and 'Roumanie'.
Ivory Coast, meanwhile, are shortened as CIV as the French named the country Côte d'Ivoire and the Portuguese Costa do Marfim, both meaning "Coast of Ivory."