Algeria takes soccer jersey dispute with Morocco to top sports court

Algeria takes soccer jersey dispute with Morocco to top sports court
Photo: Exterior of Court of Arbitration for Sport, Lausanne, Switzerland / Courtesy: Creative Commons/Fanny Schertzer 

A dispute between Algeria and Morocco concerning soccer jerseys is proceeding to a full appeal hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) based in Switzerland.

The jerseys, worn by Moroccan club RS Berkane, feature a map of disputed Western Sahara territory. Two semi-final games between the two nations in the CAF Confederation Cup were canceled after Algeria insisted the jerseys be replaced. 

In both cases, The Confederation of African Football (CAF) determined that the Algerian club had violated competition regulations, resulting in Berkane being granted a 3-0 victory by default.

The Algerian soccer federation and Algiers-based USM Alger club are disputing CAF's decision to permit the Moroccan team to wear the controversial jerseys. 

Last week, an urgent appeal made by the Algerians to halt CAF's decision regarding the jerseys was rejected by the sports court in Switzerland. But the court has since registered the appeal. 

According to the Associated Press, soccer rules state that “equipment must not have any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images.”

Berkane is set to play two final games against Egypt in the CAF Confederation Cup on May 12 and 19. The court has not revealed whether a decision on the jerseys will be made before those games. 

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