Map reading: Algerians appeal to CAS over forfeit of CAF Confederation Cup semi-final

May 3 – The row between Algerian club USM Alger and Morocco’s RS Berkane over the map of Morocco on Berkane’s shirt that shows the disputed territory of the Western Sahara, has now reached the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The Algerian Football Federation (FAF) and USM have jointly filed an appeal against the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) and RS Berkane challenging the decision of the CAF Appeals Jury in April 21 that saw USM forfeit both matches in their 2023/24 CAF Confederation Cup tie for refusal to play.

CAF awarded both legs of the semi-final tie 3-0 to Berkane, sending them through to the final where they will meet Egypt’s Zamalek on May 12.

USM were objecting to the map on the RS Berkane showing the Western Sahara which Algeria claims as its own territory.

USM argue that the map constitutes a political statement and is against the laws of CAF and FIFA.

CAF’s Interclubs Committee initially ruled that Berkane could wear the shirt but when USM refused to play the matches if that shirt (both were abandoned), CAF awarded Berkane the games.

USM lost their appeal to CAF so have now escalated their complaint to CAS.

However, with the final only nine days away, it is unclear whether a decision will be made in time by CAS.

“The arbitral panel that will be decide the matter is being appointed,” said CAS.

“Once constituted, the arbitral panel will issue instructions for the next phase of the proceedings, including the holding of a hearing. At this juncture, it is not possible to give any further details on the timetable for this procedure.”

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1721846648labto1721846648ofdlr1721846648owedi1721846648sni@n1721846648osloh1721846648cin.l1721846648uap1721846648