The president of the Algerian Football Federation (FAF) asked, during the 44th session of the ordinary general assembly of CAF, that article 4 of the statutes be changed in order to allow the Sahrawi separatist militia “polisario” to to be represented as a country and thus be able to have a football team. Algeria was the only country to make this objection.
One year after the 43rd ordinary and elective general meeting of CAF held in Rabat where the article denounced by Algeria was voted unanimously and by Algeria via the president of the FAF, Kheireddine Zetchi (removed because of its vote), Algeria returns to backpedal.
Indeed, Algeria had validated the statutes of CAF which included this article 4 which stipulates that only countries recognized by the United Nations can claim to participate as a member country of CAF and have a football team.
The article was logically validated by all the African countries because it would be unthinkable to see a team from an entity not recognized by the UN and not having the characteristics of a country, claiming the title of African champion and even less play the World Cup.
While the ordinary general assembly was held in Zambia on Wednesday, and in front of the president of the pan-African body, the South African, Patrice Motsepe, the members of the Federations voted the minutes and amendments, during the passage of the validation of the minutes of the previous CAF GA in Rabat, all countries raised their green cards signifying their approval.
Patrice Motsepe noted that he was whispered that a country was going to issue a red card, except that the latter did not do so when he asked if a country intended to issue a red card.
Motsepe added that he was told that the country in question did not want to speak in public, but he invited Djahid Zefizef, the new president of FAF to take the microphone to explain his refusal.
“I was told that I was going to have a red card, I was told a few minutes before in relation to this problem in relation to a particular point in the minuteshe said, asking next to him: “Which country is it? He doesn’t want to explain? I think we should let him speak”.
“I expressed reservations against the point relating to the amendment of article 4 of the statutes, therefore I ask you to refer to my letter sent on August 4, consequently I ask you to register the position of my association with the minutes of this general meeting”retorted the president of the Algerian Federation.
“I think you should (give details), and explain on what grounds you object”,” retorted the boss of CAF who had gone to Algiers a few days ago.
“It is a question of recalling the position of the Algerian football federation in favor of the values of our sport as a vector of unity, of strengthening the bonds of friendship and solidarity between the peoples of the African continent” began by saying the new president of the FAF, emphasizing, although stammering, having “the duty to draw” the attention of the boss of CAF to the impact “negative, even dangerous” of item 4.
Commissioned by the Algerian State, Djahid Zefizef affirmed that this article would have a “eminently and exclusively political”,and that he would wear “attack on CAF’s brand image” adding that he “Risk of undermining his credibility with FIFA”
And to remember that CAF like FIFA bans any political interference in the management of football bodies.
— AL24news – قناة الجزائر الدولية (@AL24newschannel) August 10, 2022
Patrice Motsepe replied that he was not the president of CAF at the time and recalled “that today his mission was only to present the minutes which reflect what was discussed during this meeting”and which was approved by all the members in Rabat, pointing out that he understood that the intervention of Algeria had the sole purpose of being recorded in the minutes of this meeting and that they could move on.
If the intervention of the president of the FAF contradicts the very position of Algeria a year before, the double posture of Algeria comes up against another level.
The FAF denounces that article 4 is of a political nature and denounces the interference of politics in sport, but in fact, Algeria is one of the only countries in the world to always mix politics with sport.
Algeria has systematically boycotted international and continental sports competitions organized in the Moroccan Sahara, and this is a political position. Algeria even went to conspire to cancel the Futsal CAN which was to be organized in southern Morocco a few days before the start of the competition.
Algeria is also the country whose sportsmen and athletes forfeit or refuse to face their Israeli counterparts. Algeria recently banned access to the territory for Moroccan sports journalists during the Oran Games, without providing valid reasons when they were accredited, and simply because Algiers broke diplomatic relations with Morocco.
It is still Algeria that refused to come to the CAF Awards ceremony organized in Rabat in July, precisely because of its political dispute with Morocco. There again, if Algeria alone denounces this article of the CAF statutes, it is still by political calculation and simply against Morocco.
It should be noted that before this article 4 was validated in 2021, at no time, in any year, did the Polisario or Algeria express the wish to be represented by a football team given that it is clearly established that the separatist movement is not a state in any form, but has all the markers of a terrorist group.