Dr Patrice Motsepe, the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has re-emphasized his commitment to keep ‘troubled’ Morocco and Algeria in the good books of the world’s biggest football block.
Morocco missed the 2022 African Nations Championship (CHAN) because its national carrier failed to secure authorization to land Algerian territory.
Both countries are currently in a ‘bidding war’ about hosting rights of the 2025 AFCON tournament, whose host rights were stripped off Guinea last year.
Critics have recommended both countries desire to host the competition not be considered by CAF as it might lead to a similar situation.
Some African football fanatics hold the opinion the CAF disciplinary laws about absenting a competition be applied against Morocco.
To Dr Motsepe, the position is harsh and defeats the purpose of the game on the continent.
“We must focus on how we can use football to empower and unite our people. So don’t put us in a position to choose between Morocco and Algeria,” the pan-Africanist began, before adding;
“We need both countries in our football development process. We will at all times treat every nation justly and fairly. No nation will be treated differently. The Secretariat and the legal team are working in compliance with the FIFA rules and regulations to advise on this situation. The same applies with comments that were made by Mandela’s son and some fans about Morocco,” Dr Motsepe revealed at Saturday’s presser at the Nelson Mandela stadium in Baraki, Algeria.
Morocco and Algeria have increased their investment in the game and have a greater desire to host tournaments than ever before.
Algeria will host the 2023 U17 AFCON in April – May this year. Morocco is one of the 12 nations expected at the 15th gathering of the CAF’s beginners tournament. It could be sad if Morocco miss the event again on the same grounds.
Dr Motsepe has promised to be at the tournament.
“I will be here in April to watch our young players during the U17s. The next Mo Salah, Didier Drogba, Sadio Mane express themselves,” the CAF scribe revealed during the same event.
The hosts of the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations will be announced in the weeks ahead, but before that CAF is on a mission to see that its competitions in any of these nations don’t experience the unwanted scenario of CHAN 2022.
There was a suggestion from a journalist that Morocco and Algeria could jointly bid for the rights to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup as part of efforts to rebuild relationship between the nations. Dr Motsepe smiled and said; “not a bad idea and I am confident they will deliver a world class hosting.”
The present atmosphere between the giants of African football is certainly taking a tool on the growth of the game on the continent.
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