CAF Probes Racism Claims in Morocco-Congo DR Clash

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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has launched an investigation into allegations of racism stemming from the Morocco-Congo DR match at the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has initiated an investigation into allegations of racist abuse and assault following a post-match altercation between Democratic Republic of Congo defender Chancel Mbemba and Morocco head coach Walid Regragui. The incident unfolded after Sunday’s 1-1 draw in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, escalating into a brawl in the corridors of the Laurent Pokou Stadium in San-Pedro.

Mbemba and Regragui, involved in a tense Group F encounter, had to be separated as the match concluded. The dispute originated when Regragui approached Mbemba for a handshake while the defender was praying.

Mbemba, playing for French club Marseille, resisted the handshake, expressing displeasure over the coach’s attempt to influence the referee by gesturing an imaginary red card during the match.

In the aftermath, Mbemba, who respected the coach until then, spoke out about hearing a racial slur from Regragui. The situation intensified as Mbemba faced racist abuse on his Instagram account.

Congolese Federation (FECOFA) president Dieudonne Sambi Nsele-Lutu condemned “unacceptable racist attacks” on Mbemba, alleging impolite remarks from Morocco players and their head coach, leading to an assault in the locker room corridors.

Regragui denied making racist comments, insisting that Mbemba misinterpreted his actions. The Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) expressed regret for the unsportsmanlike acts, refraining from accusations, and highlighted the historical connections between the two nations.

Morocco captain Romain Saiss downplayed the incident, urging unity and emphasizing that football tensions should stay on the pitch.

As CAF investigates the matter, both teams continue their Africa Cup of Nations campaigns. Morocco, leading Group F, faces Zambia, while the Democratic Republic of Congo seeks a spot in the round of 16 against Tanzania.

The unfolding events highlight the challenges of maintaining sportsmanship and unity amid controversies in the prestigious tournament.



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