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Morocco, Cradle of African Liberation Movements

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Rabat, 26/05/2023 (MAP) – Morocco’s historic contribution during the reign of the late HM Mohammed V and the late HM Hassan II to the struggle of African countries against colonialism was highlighted on Thursday in Rabat, on the occasion of celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the African continent.

The anniversary, which coincided this year with the commemoration of Africa Day (May 25), was an opportunity for participants in a ceremony organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, to dwell on the unifying role of the late HM Mohammed V during this decisive period, having mobilized the Kingdom’s resources immediately after its independence in 1956 in the service of the liberation movements of brotherly African countries, in an atmosphere of pan-African communion and solidarity.

HM Mohammed V

In a speech on this occasion, Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, stressed that “the founding reign of His Late Majesty Mohammed V – May God have Him in His Holy Mercy – was in phase with the struggles for liberation, in Morocco and in Africa”.

“The late Sovereign – Father of the Nation – also made the Kingdom a land of welcome and rallying for liberation movements and African independence leaders”, he recalled, pointing out that Berkane, in eastern Morocco, was the sanctuary of liberation movements from the farthest reaches of Africa. He recalled that Nelson Mandela, Samora Machel, Agostinho Neto, Amilcar Cabral – among others – had their quarters there.

“Heir and Companion in the struggle of His illustrious Father, the late His Majesty Hassan II – may God rest His soul – has, in turn, spared no effort in the service of the stability and independence of brotherly African countries”, continued the Minister, noting that on several occasions, Moroccan soldiers have fought alongside brotherly African countries, and shed their blood on their soil, in the service of independence and the preservation of territorial integrity.

“The Founding Fathers of Pan-Africanism and African independence, always knew that to move forward, Africa had to know where it came from,” he said, explaining that “this is why Morocco has decided, to pay tribute to this shared history and our common destiny, to finalize one of the most important memorialization projects of the period of African independence, weaving the Ariadne’s thread between History and the Present that links the 54 States of the Continent.”

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We believe, in fact, that it is important for Africa to reappropriate its +Narrative+; to enhance its cultural heritage and nurture its collective identity,” he maintained.

“To take part in this, Morocco has set up a series of memorial initiatives designed to ensure that the flame of remembrance of the struggles and common battles for freedom and independence on our continent is never extinguished”, noted Bourita.

Also speaking on the occasion, Mustapha El Ktiri, High Commissioner for former members of the Resistance and Liberation Army, said that history records that, just after independence, the Kingdom implemented the African dimension through the pioneering project to which the late HM King Mohammed V had called, by hosting the Casablanca Conference in January 1961 and creating the Casablanca Group to develop a common African policy, political unity and economic, political and societal integration under the banner of Pan-Africanism.

HM Hassan II

He stressed that this forward-looking vision of the late HM Mohammed V was based on the historical, commercial, spiritual, cultural and political capital of Morocco’s relations with many African countries that had just gained their independence.

El Ktiri added that the late HM Hassan II continued to support this liberation project by backing African countries in their struggle for independence, recalling that the Kingdom was one of the founding members of the Organization of African Unity (OAU).

Under the enlightened leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Morocco has maintained its positions and principles towards the African continent, he continued, noting that the Sovereign, since His accession to the Throne of His glorious ancestors, has spared no effort in signing conventions and partnerships with African countries, and in establishing solid diplomatic and economic relations.

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The ceremony, attended by members of the government and numerous ambassadors from countries accredited to the Kingdom, was marked by the screening of a documentary on “Morocco and liberation movements in Africa”.

Participants in the event also attended the inauguration of the exhibition “Frères d’armes, du combat pour l’Indépendance africaine au serment du co-développement” (Brothers in arms, from the fight for African independence to the oath of co-development), featuring a number of photographs by photographer Mohamed Maradji.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Governing Bodies

CAF Executive Committee to meet on Friday

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CAF President Motsepe Fails To Confirm Dates For 2025 AFCON -

Plunged with myriad of issues especially concerning regular fixtures of the Africa Cup of Nations 2025 as well as the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations 2024 both of which are to be held in Morocco, the  Confédération Africaine de Football CAF Executive Committee  will hold a virtual meeting on Friday.

It is expected that the congested fixtures occasioned by the women’s football event of the Paris 2024 Olympics as well as the enlarged FIFA Club World Cup 2025 will be discussed.

Till now,neither hosts nor period has been allocated for the Women’s Club Champions League which is supposed to be an annual event.

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Governing Bodies

Samuel Eto’o apologises and reinstates Cameroon coach Brys

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Former Cameroonian star forward and now football federation president Samuel Eto’o apologised Thursday to national team coach Marc Brys, with whom he had been involved in a heated exchange this week.

The ex-Barcelona striker also confirmed Brys would remain in his position after it was announced the Belgian was to be replaced as head coach of Cameroon on Wednesday.

“I apologise because during our first unfortunate meeting, there was a lot of emotion… but the Cameroonian people are more important than us, and it is for them that we must work,” said Eto’o at a press conference.

Eto’o was referring to an incident captured on video during his first meeting with Brys, which was widely shared on social media Tuesday.

The pair were seen to engage in a heated argument, before Brys left abruptly.

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“Your mission is not an easy one, despite your qualities and experience, but you should know that you will have our support,” added the two-time Africa Cup of Nations winner.

Brys was appointed to the role in April by Cameroon’s sport ministry, much to the astonishment of the country’s football federation (Fecafoot) and its president Eto’o wrote to the ministry to denounce its “illegal” appointment of the 62-year-old.

Fecafoot said it regretted not being involved “closely, nor remotely” in the selection process for the new coach and his staff.

Belgian Brys will now oversee Cameroon’s next two crucial matches in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, against Cape Verde on June 8 and Angola three days later.

-AFP

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Footballers warn FIFA of looming strike

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FIFA Completely Opposed To 'blue Cards' -

Players have warned world soccer’s governing body FIFA that they are ready to go on strike over concerns the playing calendar is overloaded, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) said.

Maheta Molango, who has been calling for change since February, believes players have reached a breaking point. He says football’s packed schedule endangers players’ health and diminishes the quality of the sport.

“I can tell you a situation not 10 days ago where I went into a dressing room that was directly affected and said: ‘I’m happy to be here and bark a bit, but ultimately it’s up to you. How far do you want to go?” Molango told the BBC.

“Some of them said: ‘I’m not having it, we might as well go on strike. Some said: ‘What’s the point? Yes, I’m a millionaire, but I don’t even have time to spend the money’.

Demands on players have increased in recent years, as tournaments expanded and new competitions emerged, with players and managers criticising that the calendar demanded too many matches.

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“It was not even the union that said it, it was Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola. We have reached a point where we cannot rule out any action,” Molango said.

Global players’ union FIFPRO, along with the PFA and the World Leagues Association (WLA), have threatened to take legal action if FIFA continues in this direction.

In a letter addressed to FIFA President Gianni Infantino and General Secretary Mattias Grafstrom, they expressed their concerns over the expansion of the new 32-team Club World Cup.

In response, FIFA denied their claims it had taken unilateral decisions to favour its competitions in the international calendar and would not consider rescheduling the tournament.

“Some of the changes in England with the domestic calendar have been forced by what FIFA and UEFA have done. What has happened is further confirmation that something needs to be done,” Molango said

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“We will always try to exhaust all diplomatic avenues, we have sent a letter, we have received a reply, but unfortunately time is against us. Sometimes between grown-up people, despite trying very hard to find solutions you need a third party to decide, maybe an arbitrator or a tribunal,” he said.

-Reuters

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