Malaysian Muslims 'prayed' for Morocco success during crunch World Cup game against Portugal
Dozens of Malaysian football fans took part in collective Muslim prayers to boost Morocco’s chances of beating Portugal in Saturday’s tense World Cup quarter-final match - a game the Atlas Lions went on to win.
Videos showed the fans praying dhikr - a form of Islamic meditation where certain phrases are repeated - at a public square where the Portugal v Morocco game was beamed on big screens.
Morocco went on to win the game 1-0, shocking football pundits and causing Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo to leave the pitch in tears. They will next take on France and stand just two games away from lifting the World Cup trophy.
Football fans and activists praised the gesture by the Malaysian fans and thanked them, calling it "distinctive" and "unique".
Many returned the favour, praying the Malaysian football fans are also rewarded for their actions.
The video has garnered thousands of views across several social media platforms.
Others commented that the Morocco victory is a 'win' for all Muslims, as the North African kingdom is the first Arab country to reach the semi-finals of a FIFA World Cup.
Many players from the squad have also made Muslim gestures thanking God following their impressive wins in the tournament so far.
Morocco is also the first Arab and African country to reach the semi-final stages at the world's biggest football competition.
The Atlas Lions are set to take on 2018 champions France in a highly-anticipated semi-final match on Wednesday.
Bayern Munich's Kingsley Coman, who plays for the French squad, told the Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister site, that the upcoming match will be played akin to a "Champions League semi-final" owing to the key players on both sides.