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CAS ruling: Clarification emerges in USM Alger vs. RS Berkane dispute

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its initial verdict regarding the contentious clash between USM Alger and RS Berkane during the first leg of the CAF Cup semi-final. In an official statement, the CAS seeks to shed light on the situation that has gripped the footballing world.

Reports surfaced suggesting that Algerian authorities confiscated RS Berkane’s jerseys for political motives, resulting in the cancellation of the first leg of the CAF Cup semi-final against USM Alger.

This development cast doubt on the Berkane kit, which had previously received approval from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) at the onset of the tournament.

Following the incident, CAF penalized USM Algiers by awarding a 3-0 victory to RS Berkane. In response, USM Algiers, with the backing of the Algerian Football Federation (FAF), sought recourse from the CAS.

In a press release issued from its headquarters in Lausanne, the CAS provided insights into the matter on Thursday evening.

“The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) acknowledges the appeal filed by the Algerian Football Federation (FAF) and the Medina Sports Union of Algiers (USM Alger)… This ruling upholds an initial decision from the CAF Interclub Commission which affirmed the legitimacy of RS Berkane jerseys in the 2023/24 CAF Confederation Cup,” the statement reads.

Addressing the fate of RS Berkane’s victory on the green carpet, the CAS clarified its stance. “In their appeal, the appellants submitted an urgent motion to immediately suspend the implementation of the contested decision.

This request was unilaterally denied by the President of the CAS Appeals Chamber on April 26, 2024,” it elaborated.

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The CAS emphasized that the proceedings are still in their preliminary stages, with no final decision rendered yet.

It is anticipated that the verdict will be announced subsequent to the final showdown between Berkane and Zamalek, scheduled for May 12 and 19, respectively.

As stakeholders await further developments, the CAS remains pivotal in adjudicating the complex dispute, offering hope for resolution in one of African football’s most contentious episodes.

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