In reaction to Morocco’s persistence in maintaining this continental event in the occupied city of El Aaiun, the South African Football Association (SAFA) announced the withdrawal of its national team. Algeria, on the other hand, has denounced the organization of this event (in this city) through its football federation (FAF), expressing its absolute “opposition”
“The South African Football Association (SAFA) has decided to withdraw from the Futsal tournament after Morocco insisted on hosting the tournament in El Aaiun, which is in disputed Western Sahara” said a communiqué of the federation, “We are aware of the possible fine from CAF and other repercussions following our decision to withdraw from the tournament”
“Morocco remains an illegal occupying power in Western Sahara, and the south African government will never recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara”
The media quoted as saying, the president of the SAFA, Danny Jordaan “our position is clear” when referring to his country, he stated that the South African team “has no issue in playing in Morocco or in any of their cities, but we will not accept to participate in the event on occupied lands such as the city of El Aaiun”
For its part, the Algerian Football Federation sent a letter to the president of CAF in which it "denounces and opposes" Morocco for hosting the Africa Futsal Cup of Nations 2020 (January 28 - February 7) in the occupied Sahrawi city El Aaiun.
The FAF called on the CAF to reconsider the host of this event in the occupied city by Morocco, and to follow the path of international law, that sheds light on any ambiguity over the nature of the Western Sahara conflict, whose file is treated by the UN bodies as "a question of decolonization"
“The CAF has always been in the forefront of universal values and has relentlessly fought against all forms of colonization, chiefly the apartheid regime in South Africa,” the FAF said.
This decision that entails in its folds “a political connotation” provokes a “division within the CAF institution.”
President of the Algerian Olympic and Sport Committee (COA), Mustapha Berraf, expressed support to the FAF in its response.
The latest Congress of the Polisario Front, held in December 2019, affirmed that the Sahrawi people’s fight would continue and highlighted the African Union’s decisive role in the liberation of occupied territories.
Simultaneously, the strong of presence of foreign delegates in this Congress, has reflected the spirit of international solidarity to the Sahrawi cause.
Moreover, an increased mobilization of NGOs and human rights defenders around the world in support of the Sahrawi people in their struggle for the exercise of their right to self-determination, independence and the stopping of looting of their natural resources.
UN resolutions, international law and judicial decisions, such as those of the European Court of Justice (CJEU) say that Morocco and Western Sahara are two separate territories, stressing that Morocco exercises no sovereignty over Western Sahara.