USM Alger v RS Berkane: CAF makes decisive ruling in controversial Confederation Cup semi-final

USM Alger v RS Berkane: CAF makes decisive ruling in controversial Confederation Cup semi-final

Festus Chuma 14:03 - 25.04.2024

CAF has ruled on the Confederation Cup semi-final first-leg clash due to kit confiscation with further sanctions pending against one club.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has made a big call, officially announcing a 3-0 victory for RS Berkane over USM Alger in the CAF Confederation Cup semi-final first leg, which was cancelled last weekend.

The decision came after a heated dispute involving the confiscation of the Moroccan team's kits by Algerian authorities.

On Sunday, CAF confirmed that the match, initially set to take place at Stade du 5 Juillet, was abandoned when Berkane's players were left without their official jerseys, leading to the game’s cancellation. 

The Algerian Football Federation had previously raised objections about Berkane's kit, despite CAF's approval before the season began.

USM Alger, the current title holders, appeared ready to play, stepping onto the pitch as scheduled. However, the absence of their opponents, who stood firm on not playing without their approved kits, led to the match being officially called off.

The situation has stirred considerable controversy, especially given the backdrop of heightened tensions between the two nations over diplomatic and political issues. 

CAF's decision is based on regulations that ensure the integrity of the competition is maintained.

 "During its meeting held on April 24, the Organising Commission for Interclub Competitions and Management of the Club Licensing System has decided as follows: 1. Sanction the USMA Club with a forfeit of 0-3 for match no.129 USMA (Algeria) vs RS Berkane (Morocco) of the TotalEnergies Confederation Cup 2023/2024.," the statement reads.

Further penalties may be forthcoming for USM Alger, as hinted at in the CAF statement, which could impact their standing in future international competitions.

Despite the controversy, preparations are underway for the second leg of the semi-final, scheduled to occur this weekend at the Berkane Municipal Stadium.

Follow us on X (Twitter) for more updates