Morocco’s Berkane vs. Alger club match cancelled over jersey dispute

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The semi-final match between Renaissance Sportive de Berkane (RSB) and USM d'Alger in the African Football Confederation Cup has been cancelled by the match referee after the Moroccan players refused to take the field on Sunday evening.

This decision stems from the Algerian authorities' refusal to comply with the CAF Interclubs Committee's decision regarding RSB's jerseys depicting the full map of Morocco.

On April 20, the African Football Confederation (CAF) ordered Algeria to release the Berkane club's jerseys, which had been seized the previous day by customs officials at Algiers airport. The Algerian Football Federation (FAF) lodged an appeal, arguing that the jerseys violated Algeria's stance on the disputed territory of Western Sahara as part of Morocco. The FAF even proposed providing RSB with counterfeit shirts without the map.

«Algeria's response is strict», stressed the FAF president. «We refuse to allow the Berkane club to play under this jersey. Our position is clear and we will not back down, and we are ready for anything».

Despite CAF rejecting the FAF's appeal, the issue is far from over. The FAF and USMA intend to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to avoid elimination from the competition.

«We have 10 days to appeal to CAS and defend the rights of USMA as well as those of the Algerian Republic», announced the sporting director of the Algerian club. USMA, the defending champion of the 2023 edition, hopes to overturn the cancellation decision.

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