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CAF Cup 2024: Appeal Filed Over Jersey Dispute

The governing body of football in Algeria, the Algerian Football Federation (FAF), along with the football club, Union Sportive Medina d’Alger (USM Alger), have filed an appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) concerning jerseys depicting a Moroccan map with the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

These appellants have challenged the decision allowing the use of jerseys by the Moroccan football club, RS Berkane for the 2024 CAF Confederation Cup. Such use was allowed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Interclubs Committee and later rubberstamped by the CAF Appeals Jury. The urgent request to suspend the execution of the decision was rejected by CAS in April. The dispute earlier led to the cancellation of two semi-final matches as well; RS Berkane’s jerseys were seized by the customs authorities at the airport after they arrived in Algiers and Berkane refused to wear the replacement jerseys, and days later, the Algerian club too refused to play when they travelled to Morocco. On both counts, default wins were awarded to Berkane. However, the Moroccan club was defeated by Egypt’s Zamalek, which won the CAF Confederation Cup final for the second time on May 19.

It has been contended by the appellants that the RS Berkane shirt presented a political message and was in violation of the laws of the game, CAF regulations and FIFA rules. Notably, the laws of the game prohibit players from sporting political slogans, statements or images on their equipment, including clothing.