Algeria refuses to open airspace to Moroccan aircraft

The question of the participation of the Moroccan national under-23 football team continues to generate more and more reactions regarding the condition set by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF). The latter wishes, in fact, that Algeria opens its airspace to the plane of the Cubs of the Atlas.

The Algerian response to the Moroccan request was not long in coming, and it intervened officially through the intermediary of Rachid Oukali, head of the organizing committee of the competition. The Algerian official said at a press conference on Wednesday that “the specifications of a sporting event such as the African Championship of local players stipulates that the host of the competition has the obligation to secure the travel of the delegations of the participating countries” on national territory such as trips from the capital to Constantine, Oran or Annaba.

And the boss of the Organizing Committee for the 2023 African Cup of Local Players, scheduled for January 13 to February 4, added that“there is no direct air link obligation”, explaining that “the majority of participating teams must make stopovers”.

The manager concluded that “His country undertakes to warmly welcome the participating teams, and to provide all the capacities required so that the conditions of stay are good in Algeria, as soon as they arrive”.

For the FRMF, welcoming the participating teams is an essential condition. Thus, she demanded that the national under-23 team be able to travel to Constantine by a direct flight from Rabat on board a Royal Air Maroc (RAM) plane.

The reception conditions of the national selection occupied a large part of the meeting of the Federation’s management office on Tuesday at the Mohammed VI complex in Maamoura. Fouzi Lekjaa explained that the Steering Committee demanded this measure and that the FRMF sent correspondence to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) so that the latter enforced the specifications of the competition.

As a reminder, Algeria has severed its diplomatic relations with Morocco and closed its airspace to all planes registered in Morocco, pushing Moroccan teams to make a detour via Tunisia to reach Algeria.

Moroccan sports journalists who came to cover events such as the Mediterranean Games – but also journalists covering the Arab Summit organized in Algiers – were banned from entering Algeria upon their arrival at the airport and after spending several hours stranded.

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