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Algeria denies access to Moroccan Football Club over jerseys displaying map of Morocco

Algeria denies entry to Moroccan football club RS Berkane for CAF Confederation Cup semi-final for displaying a complete map of Morocco on jerseys.

 In a move that is not the first of its kind, the Moroccan football club Renaissance Sportive de Berkane (RS Berkane) has been denied entry into Algeria for their crucial CAF Confederation Cup semi-final match against USM Alger.

The team, which arrived at Houari Boumediene Airport in Algiers this morning, was blocked by Algerian authorities due to the presence of a complete map of Morocco, including the Sahara, on their jerseys.



The arbitrary and politically motivated decision by the Algerian authorities has sparked outrage among Moroccans, with many labeling the incident as a “politicization of sports” and a “blatant violation of CAF rules.”



Reports have emerged that not only is the Berkane team stranded at the airport, but their luggage has also been confiscated. Even more disturbing are allegations that some players have been subjected to unjustified searches and checks, in an intolerable assault on their dignity and integrity.



The delegation had obtained authorization to travel to Algiers on a Spanish plane, thus circumventing the access restrictions imposed by Algeria on Moroccan flights.

As the players and staff of RS Berkane find themselves trapped in a Kafkaesque situation at the Algiers airport, the fate of the match, originally scheduled for April 21, now hangs in the balance, pending a decision from the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

This is not the first time that Algerian authorities have taken such drastic measures against Moroccan football teams.

In January 2023, members of Morocco’s national team of local players were forced to leave Rabat-Sale International Airport after Algerian authorities failed to issue approval for the team to travel to Constantine for their group matches in the African Nations Championship (CHAN).


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