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CAF declares RS Berkane winner, subjects Algeria’s USMA to sanctions

The Moroccan football team RS Berkane was declared winner of an African Confederation Cup game opposing USM Alger although it did not play due to Algerian authorities’ refusal to hand them their jerseys.

Algerian customs withheld jerseys because they bore the full map of Morocco including the Saharan provinces.

CAF had asked the Algerian Football Federation to ensure RS Berkane receives its jerseys. Such a call fell on the deaf ear of the Algerian Football Federation (FAF) which backed the decision of Algerian authorities saying banning RS Berkane jerseys was a question of sovereignty.

CAF ruled that in banning RS Berkane jerseys, USM Alger lost three to null.

A jury will later issue sanctions against USM Alger, CAF said in a statement.

It also maintained the date and the venue of the return game opposing the two teams in Berkane on April 28, at 20:00.

Despite CAF’s announcement that the jerseys were legitimate, Algerian authorities refused to allow the team to play the semi-final first leg with their official equipment.

Many have described the Algerian decision as part of Algeria’s smear campaign challenging Morocco’s territorial integrity and sovereignty over its southern provinces.

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