The International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPro) have hit out at the Confederation of African Football for their treatment of Morocco following the country’s failure to host 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).
Caf decided to ban Morocco’s Atlas Lions from the next two Afcon tournaments (2017 & 2019) as punishment for not hosting the 2015 finals, which they were also suspended from participating.
FIFPro however agrees it is not their duty to judge if the FRMF for exercising a “Force majeure” on an agreement to organise Afcon 2015 but laments the effect of the overall sanctions on the players.
“Denying a nation the possibility of playing in three consecutive African Cup of Nations is to sacrifice an entire generation of players, prevent their playing at the highest international level, and disallow their practising an important part of their occupation as professional footballer,” board of FIFPro Division Africa said in a statement following their meeting in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. “It is to put a brake on their development.”
Morocco had in November notified African football’s governing body it were not prepared to host the football showpiece as scheduled because of concerns over the spread of the Ebola virus. The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) had requested for postponement, which Caf rejected.
The FRMF were, in line with the Afcon rules, fined the sum of £650,000 ($US1m) and ordered to pay £6m (€8.05m) for damages.
“Why pick on the players in this way? Why make them wear a hat far too big for them, making them pay, and such a heavy price, for the errors imputed to their executives?” the global players’ union asked.
“It would have been easy to ban Morocco from organizing any continental competitions for “X” years, or further to increase the financial penalties, rather than punish the footballers, who are neither guilty nor responsible but have been heavily penalized from the outset!”
African champions Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, DR Congo, Morocco, South Africa, Egypt, Ghana and Zimbabwe are full members of FIFPro Africa.