By Majid Morcili
By Majid Morcili
San Francisco – We have grown accustomed to expecting that anytime an Algerian speaks out about Morocco that it is most likely to be something negative and in line with the Algerian regime. Ali Fergani, former captain of Algeria’s soccer team, has spoken out with a refreshing positive view in an article in Jeune Afrique in which the magazine interviewed well known soccer personalities as to whether the CAN 2015 soccer tournament should go on or be postponed as Morocco suggested.
Fergani says that Morocco’s proposal to postpone the CAN has a certain logic. “Moroccans are within their rights. They want to limit the risks. When there is a case of Ebola fever in the United States or Spain, or even a mere suspicion in France, it’s an all out war. Imagine if someone dies from Ebola in Morocco during CAN,” he says. “I think the delay would allow health authorities to be better organized. We should take the health of the public very seriously.”
Fergani’s comments on the issue come from the heart and from his sincerity, He could have easily emulated the many in the Algerian media who have speculated erroneously that Morocco wants to pull out in fear that Algeria will win CAN 2015 in Morocco, which would of course be a tremendous embarrassment to Morocco. Others have suggested that Morocco is too afraid of Algerian fans who tend to be violent. I have watched Algerian fans in the last world cup and they were true fans, and they represented their country as well as anyone else.
Fergani also said, “Honestly, I think that given the magnitude of the problem, countries should stop saying that they can take over organizing CAN in case Morocco stops doing it. Who would take such a risk, especially if the virus is gaining ground? “
Unlike Fergani, African football legend Roger Milla chose to side with his compatriot Issa Hayatou who is also a Cameroonian. “Morocco’s quest to pull out of hosting the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations because of the Ebola virus is calculated to hide something from Africans,” he said, suggesting that Ebola is not the true reason Morocco is asking to postpone the games.
Fergani is someone who values human life, and he stated his opinion in complete honesty. These are the Algerians that we Moroccans value and respect. Fergani showed class, wisdom, and and has refused to play into the hands of the Algerian regime — unlike his country-mate Hassiba Boulmerka, an Olympic gold medalist who is regrettably used by the military regime in Algeria for propaganda purposes against Morocco.
The world desperately needs more Ferganis in Algeria — and in Morocco, for that matter — people who are forward looking and who will not be stuck in the past.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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