Algeria, Morocco football federations issued heavy fines over brawl at 2022 Arab Cup U-17 final

Algeria, Morocco football federations issued heavy fines over brawl at 2022 Arab Cup U-17 final
The incident occurred when Algerian fans stormed the pitch following the Fennec Foxes' win over Morocco in a penalty shoot-out, leading to a series of fights involving players and fans.
3 min read
12 September, 2022
The incident, which was sparked by a group of Algerian football fans, led to the fining of both the Algerian and Moroccan football federations [Getty]

Both the Morocco and Algeria football federations were ordered to pay hefty fines on Saturday following a series of fights between fans and players that took place during last week's 2022 Arab Cup U-17 final match.

In a statement on its website, the Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA) said: "The Algerian Football Federation has been fined $120,000 for allowing fans to enter the pitch". 

Another fine of $25,000 was added because a number of Algerian players clashed with their Moroccan counterparts.

The clashes took place after Algeria’s Malik Kahlouchi scored the winning penalty for Algeria on Thursday, which saw chaos ensue on the pitch after a number of fans stormed the field in front of almost 20,000 spectators in footage shared online. 

The Algerian team, nicknamed the Fennec Foxes, won the tournament 4-2 on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw at the Abdelkrim Karroum Stadium in the western city of Sig, Algeria, making it the hosts’ first ever tournament win.

Morocco's Atlas Cubs were also fined $25,000, also for their players' involvement in the clashes.

The UAFA also decided to suspend Algerian U-17 player Abdelhak Ben Adair for physically attacking the Moroccan national team’s goalkeeper.

The UAFA’s Disciplinary and Ethics Committee stated that decisions are subject to appeal, but stressed its "total rejection of any violation or deviation from sportsmanship" in all its competitions.

The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) condemned the incident, calling on UAFA to take "strict measures" after the "brutal and barbaric" incidents that its players were subjected to, at the hands of their Algerian opponents. 

"The Royal Moroccan Football Federation was taken aback by the lack of security in the face of a large crowd and dangerous conditions before and during the match. The FRMF is now demanding that the Arab Football Association take strict measures in accordance with football laws and regulations," it added in an official statement.

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The Algerian Football Federation (FAF) did not comment on the incident, but congratulated its squad on their tournament win, according to official social media posts.

It still remains unclear what exactly prompted the brawl between the two North African adversaries.

The two countries, however, have been embroiled in a long-standing rivalry, with Rabat and Algiers involved in a year-long political stalemate over Western Sahara and Morocco's normalising of ties with Israel.