A crisis meeting would be held in Algiers

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) headed by its president Patrice Motsepe, would hold a last-minute crisis meeting in Algiers with Algerian officials regarding the participation of the Morocco team with its conditions, according to informed sources.

A last chance meeting would be held this evening in Algeria between the African football authority to try to reason with the Algerian officials who opposed opening their airspace to a Moroccan plane.

In addition, the president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, also intervened to unblock the situation on the Algerian side to allow the participation of Morocco.

Morocco had officially requested CAF that Algeria allow a direct flight from Rabat to transport the players of the Moroccan team, trying for the title of CHAN champion for its last two editions.

The request made by the Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) did not resonate with the Algerian officials seized by CAF, but who have still not given a definitive answer on the eve of the opening of the competition.

On Thursday, the FRMF announced in a statement that the national team was unable to travel to the city of Constantine to participate in the African Local Players Championship to defend its title, after the direct flight from Rabat to Constantine was not allowed on Royal Air Maroc (RAM), the official carrier of the national teams.

Beforehand, several theories on how to transport the Moroccan national team to Constantine leaked in the press, including a flight with a stopover and change of plane in Tunis.

Algeria, it seems, would have offered a flight via Tunisia and that Moroccan players then take a Tunisair plane to enter Algerian soil given that Algiers has closed its airspace in Morocco and prohibited planes registered Moroccans to cross its airspace.

This option would have meant that the Moroccan team made a detour from Paris to reach Tunis and changed planes to bypass Algerian airspace since a direct Rabat-Tunis flight is not possible without going through Algeria.

On Wednesday, as the deadline for responding to Morocco’s request to open airspace for the competition was coming to an end, the CAF president was expected to speak on the subject at a press conference Thursday from Algiers .

While no video of the press conference or official information has been published, some Algerian press reported a statement attributed to Patrice Motsepe, trying to disguise the facts so as not to show the error committed by Algeria. who refused the Moroccan request, thus mixing politics with sport, creating a new scandal.

Everything was going very well after CAF’s prior request to the Algerian authorities to allow Moroccans to come directly to Algeria. Algeria gave us its initial agreement but after the press release made by the FRMF in which she demanded to directly join Constantine or withdraw from the tournament, the situation became complex”, Motsepe reportedly said, according to the Algerian press.

If this statement is true, it shows that indeed Algeria refused the Moroccan request, thus complicating the situation. Knowing that the Algerian airspace is forbidden to Moroccans, the FRMF was entitled to think of the well-being of its players and to ask for the respect of the provisions of the specifications of the competition and did not know that an exemption was to the study between CAF and Algeria.

Until the last minute on Wednesday, the players of the Moroccan national team were still in training camp awaiting a response from Algeria.

“I have been trying for weeks to sort out the problem but the sovereign laws of each country are above. Politics should not interfere with sport but we must respect the laws of each country”would still have declared the South African in a press conference, thus signing the negative response of Algeria.

However, the blocking of Algeria vis-à-vis the double champion of CHAN is incomprehensible when we know that the Algerian Minister of Justice did indeed make a direct flight from Algiers to Rabat and in the opposite direction to transmit the invitation of participation in the Arab Summit organized in Algiers in 2022.

The Algerian activist Chawki Benzehra as well as several Algerian personalities living outside Algeria have spoken out on this subject to denounce this situation.

“Would we, as Algerians, have accepted that the plane of our national team be prevented from traveling directly to a country hosting a sports tournament? Of course not, because it’s racist, so you can’t blame the Moroccan national team not to participate in CHAN which failed before its start in the absence of the title holder of the two previous tournaments. And the strangest thing is that the slogan of the tournament is “Welcome (marhaba)”! “, tweeted the activist.

For Anouar Malek, defender of human rights, this situation would be “ridiculous”. He indicated that the problem would come from the Algerian military institution. “The civil authorities first accepted, but the military intervened! “, he wrote on Twitter.

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