Yesterday, Wednesday, the Moroccan Football Federation decided to appeal against the decision of the Disciplinary Committee of the African Union (CAF) to ban national team coach Walid Regragui for 4 matches due to the events that followed the confrontation with the Democratic Republic of Congo in the African Cup of Nations last Sunday.
The players of the two teams quarreled after the match, which ended in a 1-1 draw, and video clips spread showing an exchange of words between Regragui and defender Chancel Mbemba.
The Moroccan Federation said in a statement, “Following the unfair decision taken by the African Union Disciplinary Committee against Walid Regragui, against the backdrop of the events that took place in the match between Morocco and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which represented his suspension for 4 matches, including two suspended matches, the Moroccan Federation decided to appeal against the decision.”
He continued, “This decision is wrong, especially since the scenes showed that Regragui did not commit any behavior that violates the spirit of sportsmanship.”
Regragui was absent from the Moroccan bench against Zambia in the last round of Group Six matches, which he leads with 4 points.
His assistant Rashid bin Mahmoud led the team instead.
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Video footage showed a quarrel between members of the two teams in the middle of the field after the final whistle, and Walid Regragui, coach of the “Atlas Lions” team, got involved in the altercations, and the quarrel continued in the tunnel leading to the dressing rooms.
The Congolese Federation published a statement in which it indicated that the national team captain, Chancel Mbemba, was subjected to racist insults and insults from the Moroccan national team players and their coach, Regragui, before he was subjected to violence in the locker room corridors.
In turn, the Moroccan Federation condemned the “unsportsmanlike actions” that followed the match, in an official statement on its Facebook account, and said, “We affirm the distinguished and historical relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the bonds of brotherhood between the two peoples.”
The captain of the Democratic Republic of Congo accused the Moroccan coach of insulting him and uttering racist words.
He said in press statements that he was insulted with racist language by the Moroccan coach, adding, “I do not need to talk a lot. God's justice is the most important. I am not perfect, but on the field I respect everyone and this respect is mutual.”
Chancel Mbemba, captain of the Democratic Republic of the Congo national team: “I was not waiting for Rafi, coach of the Moroccan national team, to utter such words, but there is divine justice.”
We all know that bitter people have no morals and no principles.
Since the beginning of the conflict, they have been leading a campaign to distort Algeria. But the truth came out.pic.twitter.com/MXa98ACDFe
— ♕🅁🅴🄳🅷🄰♛ (@redha1804) January 21, 2024
Regragui responded by saying, “I do not like Mbemba's statement because it alludes to a lot of things. If he has pictures other than those we see on television, let him show them with pleasure. He will see exactly what happened.”
match #Morocco_National Team Against the Democratic Republic of Congo, it ended in a draw, but after the referee’s whistle, the stadium turned into a battlefield between the two teams. Will CAF intervene? pic.twitter.com/7ezx6qlWzQ
— Oras | Awras (@AwrasMedia) January 21, 2024
The skirmishes began after the end of the match, when the Moroccan coach went to the captain of the Democratic Republic of Congo to shake his hand, while the latter was looking towards the sky, complaining about the “injustice of the refereeing” after receiving a yellow card, before he forcefully withdrew his hand, waving to the effect that the referee ignored the “mouse”, then He apparently made an obscene gesture towards the Moroccan coach, which ignited the anger of the rest of the players, who entered into verbal and fistfights.