Morocco-Algeria shirt dispute leads to match forfeit and CAF controversy

Morocco-Algeria shirt dispute leads to match forfeit and CAF controversy

Festus Chuma 16:47 - 29.04.2024

CAF awarded RS Berkane a win after Algeria confiscated their shirts over a map dispute, escalating Morocco-Algeria tensions.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has once again found itself at the center of a heated dispute following the cancellation of the second leg of the African Confederation Cup semi-final between Moroccan club RS Berkane and Algerian side USM Alger. 

The match was called off after Algerian authorities confiscated the Moroccan team's shirts which featured a map including Western Sahara a territory at the heart of a long-standing dispute between the two nations.

This decision comes after a similar incident last week when the first leg of the semi-final was also cancelled for the same reason. 

CAF awarded RS Berkane a 3-0 victory by default after Algerian officials barred the Moroccan team from taking the field citing the controversial map on their jerseys.

The recurring cancellations highlight the ongoing political tensions between Morocco and Algeria primarily revolving around the Western Sahara region. 

Morocco claims the territory as part of its sovereign lands while Algeria supports the Polisario Front a separatist movement seeking independence for Western Sahara.

In response to the latest cancellation CAF's club commission referred the incident to its disciplinary committee to consider further sanctions against the Algerian authorities. 

This move could escalate tensions between the football associations of both countries, potentially impacting their participation in future international competitions.

Observers have criticized the Algerian authorities' decision to confiscate the shirts as an extension of the political conflict into the sports arena undermining the spirit of competition and diplomacy that international sports are meant to foster.

Follow us on X (Twitter) for more updates