CAF OFFERED OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW WHO’S IN CONTROL AFTER RACIAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST MOROCCO
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) finds itself at a crossroads, presented with an opportunity to assert its independence and authority amidst fresh accusations of racial abuse directed towards Congolese captain Chancel Mbemba in the aftermath of their Africa Cup of Nations clash with Morocco.
This incident comes just weeks after CAF swiftly and harshly punished Tanzanian coach Adel Amrouche for publicly accusing the organization of being controlled by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF). Amrouche, an Algerian international, received an eight-match ban while Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) was fined USD10,000.
The Mbemba incident unfolded after the two teams played to a 1-1 draw. Following the final whistle, a heated exchange erupted between Mbemba and Morocco coach Walid Regragui. The Congolese defender claimed Regragui racially abused him during the confrontation, stating, “I never thought I’d hear that word from the coach, that it would come from his mouth.”
CAF has promptly responded, announcing an official investigation into both Morocco and Congo. This swift action stands in stark contrast to the perceived leniency shown towards Morocco in previous controversies. FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s recent strong stance against racial abuse, advocating for “automatic forfeits” and “criminal charges,” adds further pressure on CAF to deliver a significant penalty if allegations against Morocco are proven.
The eyes of the continent are now on CAF. Will they demonstrate their autonomy and commitment to fair play by imposing a heavy punishment on Morocco, mirroring the swift action taken against Amrouche? Or will they risk further criticism by handling this case with a lighter touch, perpetuating perceptions of inconsistency and bias?
Only time will tell how CAF navigates this critical juncture.
Credit article: John Mb