Morocco orders Adidas to withdraw Algeria’s new shirt

Small earthquake in the world of football jerseys and beyond. The Moroccan Ministry of Culture ordered the Adidas brand on Thursday to withdraw from sale its new collection of Algerian jerseys, accusing it of having appropriated symbols of the Algerian national team. “Moroccan cultural heritage”. An episode that risks rekindling tensions, already palpable, between the two countries. Unveiled on September 23, the new jersey of Algeria – which will not participate in the World Cup in Qatar – poses a problem in Morocco in the sense that “This is a theft of motifs inspired by “Moroccan zellige” (ceramics characteristic of traditional Moroccan decorative art) which appear on Algerian sports jerseys, which prompted the ministry to act urgently »explained an internal source.

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Morocco takes the case very seriously, since we learn that a formal notice was sent by e-mail and by bailiff to the CEO of Adidas Kasper Rorsted. The lawyer of the Moroccan Federation denounces “a cultural appropriation and an attempt to steal a motif from Moroccan cultural heritage to use it outside its context”. Me Mourad Eladditioni demanded the withdrawal within a fortnight of the jerseys by the German sports equipment manufacturer who defended himself by explaining that he drew his inspiration from the palace of Mechouar in Tlemcen, in the north-west of Algeria.

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