After more than 6 weeks of procrastination, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has finally delivered its verdict on the violations and other provocations that punctuated the last edition of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) of local players in Algeria.
Unable to decide, and one wonders why the facts being clear and established, the body headed by Patrice Mutsepe, opted for a balancing act and “Ni-ni”, deciding to “not to sanction any party”to have Morocco and Algeria.
It’s through a press release “duly elaborated”but who does not fool anyone, that the Confederation has tried to smooth things over to get out of the game, when it would have been enough to apply the law.
Let’s start with Morocco. CAF explicitly recognizes that“After deliberations and examination of the evidence, including a number of correspondence between Algeria, Morocco and CAF, the Disciplinary Jury concluded that the Royal Moroccan Football Federation was unable to travel and participate to CHAN due to circumstances totally beyond its control, and as such no sanction of any kind is imposed on the Royal Moroccan Federation”.
In this regard, the specifications of any CAF event clearly stipulates that “the organizing country facilitates travel conditions for the participating teams”. Provision on which the FRMF relied to formulate with the pan-African body, a request for a direct flight Rabat-Constantine, on board the official carrier of the national selections, namely Royal Air Maroc… We know the rest!
Persuaded, even convinced, of the position “legally correct” of Morocco, the CAF Disciplinary Jury rejected “the request for damages from the Algerian Football Federation (FAF)”.
In the case of Algeria, the least that can be said is that it has benefited from a great ” indulgence “ of the Confederation which did not sanction it for the invitation and the speech of Little Mandela.
Again, it would have sufficed to apply the law. “According to its Statutes and Regulations and those of FIFA, the Confederation of African Football must refrain from getting involved in politics and remain neutral on matters of a political nature (…) These political statements are not those of CAF and do not reflect a view or an opinion of CAF as a politically neutral organization”had reacted the body after the controversy around the opening ceremony.
And yet, the Jury considered that it “was not to hold vicarious liability to the FAF, and strict liability provisions could not be foreseen and should not apply after this speech.”
He has, however, “issued a formal reminder to all national associations, including the FAF, to be aware that the provisions of vicarious liability and strict liability may in future be applied as a result of any political or other statement made by a third party during an official CAF competition or event”we are told.
No mention of racist insults and remarks made against Moroccans in the stands, even though the Moroccan team did not participate in CHAN, in direct attack on all the slogans brandished by FIFA, CAF and Mutsepe himself , on several occasions, insisting on the principle of political neutrality of the Authority and prohibiting any interference of politics in football.
In the end, Algeria, which was hoping for sanctions against Morocco, which it accused of undermining its CHAN, can be happy to get away with it.
No doubt CAF must have felt that the country was sufficiently punished by the failure of its organization of the competition, even in the opinion of those who participated.
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