Soccer. A new Algeria jersey creates controversy, Morocco takes Adidas to court

New stage in the tensions between Morocco and Algeria. This time, it is a jersey from the Algerian selection that is at the center of the discord. The Moroccan Ministry of Culture has ordered the German sports equipment giant Adidas to withdraw its new collection of jerseys from the Algerian football team, accusing it of having improperly appropriated the symbols of the Algerian national team. « Moroccan cultural heritage »AFP learned on Thursday from his lawyer.

Possible legal proceedings

« This is a flight of patterns inspired by Moroccan zellige (ceramic characteristic of traditional Moroccan decorative art) which appear on Algerian sports jerseys, which prompted the ministry to act urgently”, explained to AFP a source within the Ministry of Culture. On September 23, Adidas had presented on Twitter a photo of the « Fennecs » kit for the 2022-2023 season. “inspired by culture and history”. This new design, according to the German sports equipment manufacturer, draws its inspiration from the Mechouar Palace in Tlemcen, in northwestern Algeria.

In a formal notice sent by e-mail and by bailiff to the CEO of Adidas Kasper Rorsted, of which AFP obtained a copy, the Moroccan lawyer denounced “a cultural appropriation and an attempt to steal a motif from Moroccan cultural heritage to use it outside of its context”.

Me Mourad Eladditioni, the ministry’s lawyer, demanded the withdrawal within a fortnight of the collection of sports jerseys “inspired by the art of Moroccan zellige”.

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“The Moroccan Ministry of Culture reserves the right to use all possible legal remedies before German and international courts. “Warns the lawyer in his letter.

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