African FootballCAF Champions League

Controversy leads to cancellation of CAF Champions League semifinal match

The highly anticipated second leg of the 2023/24 CAF Champions League semifinal clash between RS Berkane and USM Algers was called off due to controversy surrounding the jersey worn by the Moroccan club, RS Berkane.

In a surprising turn of events, similar to the first leg encounter, the return leg match between Morocco’s RS Berkane and Algeria’s USM Alger failed to take place as scheduled on Sunday, April 28.

Despite USM Alger’s arrival in Morocco on Friday in preparation for the match slated for Sunday at 8 pm, the Algerian club opted to withdraw from the fixture.

The decision came as a response to RS Berkane’s intention to play the match wearing jerseys featuring the full map of Morocco, a move that sparked objections from the Algerian authorities.

While FIFA is yet to issue a statement regarding the cancelled match, it is anticipated that sanctions will be imposed on the Football Federation of Algeria.

A CAF club commission has escalated the matter to the disciplinary committee, signaling the potential for additional sanctions against the Algerian authorities.

These sanctions may include a ban, possibly extending to the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations, raising concerns about potential politicization given Algeria’s potential qualification for the tournament.

The cancellation of the match has stirred controversy and raised questions about the influence of politics in football.

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