Moroccan players have been unfairly made to pay the price after their country was stripped of the right to host the African Nations Cup, the world players union FIFPro said on Friday.
Morocco was banned from three consecutive Nations Cup tournaments after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) turned down its request to postpone the January-February tournament due to fears over the spread of the Ebola virus.
The competition went ahead in Equatorial Guinea.
FIFPro’s Africa division said in a statement that it was “astonished that the penalties imposed by the CAF should be directed above all and directly against the players.”
“Denying a nation the possibility of playing in three consecutive African Cup of Nations is to sacrifice an entire generation of players, prevent their playing at the highest international level, and disallow their practising an important part of their occupation as professional footballers,” it said.
“It is to put a brake on their development.”
“Why pick on the players in this way…making them pay, and such a heavy price, for the errors imputed to their executives?”
The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) was also fined $1 million and ordered to pay 8 million euros ($9.1 million) in damages to CAF and its partners.
Earlier this week, the FRMF rejected the sanctions, saying that “the decisions taken by the executive committee of CAF are against the development of African football, and not based on any statutory basis.” (Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)
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