Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Morocco demands change to Algerian jersey design

Immigration News

Mehr Ali Altaf
Mehr Ali Altafhttps://www.khaama.com
Mehr Ali is a young bilingual journalist from Afghanistan working for the English language version of Khaama Press online. His main responsibility include researching and writing news reports for the sports, tech and entertainment sections.

Morocco’s culture ministry has accused Adidas of appropriating Moroccan culture in its new jerseys for Algeria’s football team.

Adidas said the design was inspired by the Mechouar Palace in Algeria.

However the geometric blue, teal and yellow design is a pattern called zellige, which is common in Moroccan mosaics, the ministry’s lawyer said.

The neighbouring nations have a long history of tensions, as they continue to dispute Western Sahara.

Lawyer Mourad Elajouti wrote on Facebook that he had issued a legal warning to Adidas, on behalf of Morocco’s Ministry of Culture.

In a letter to the company’s chief executive Kasper Rorsted, Mr Elajouti said the new design was cultural appropriation and “an attempt to steal a form of Moroccan cultural heritage and use it outside its context”.

He has demanded the German sportswear brand remove the design within two weeks.

Mr Elajouti added that Algeria’s 2022-2023 season kit “contributes to the loss and distortion of the identity and history of these [zellige] cultural elements”.

Morocco and Algeria have long been at odds over the disputed territory of Western Sahara, where the Algiers-backed Polisario Front is seeking independence from Rabat’s rule.

Algeria severed ties in August 2021, accusing Rabat of “hostile acts”, a move which Morocco said was “completely unjustified”.

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