The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) salutes the South African Football Association (SAFA) for standing firm on its decision to boycott the Futsal African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers Morocco 2020, which was held in occupied Western Sahara on January 28th – February 7th, 2020.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) Futsal Africa Cup of Nations kicked off in Laayoune, Western Sahara at the Hizam Hall despite the controversy that enveloped these World Cup qualifiers due to the CAF choosing Laayoune, Western Sahara as its location.
The AFCON decided to ignore Article 6 of the Fundamental Principles of Olympism, International Humanitarian Law and the Constitutive Act of the African Union in order to allow Morocco to host the Futsal Africa Cup of Nations, in the non-autonomous territory of Western Sahara which it illegally occupies since 1975. There isn't much to celebrate in Western Sahara for its people, with freedom of speech and assembly severely limited. Protests against the Moroccan colonial power are violently dispersed, and the security forces routinely use torture against protesters, according to Amnesty International's annual reports.
COSATU salutes SAFA’s choice to support the stance taken by the South African government, by displaying their solidarity with the Sahrawi people and withdrawing from the tournament to increase pressure on Morocco to grant Western Sahara its independence. It has been more than 40 years since Morocco claimed sovereignty over Western Sahara, setting off a conflict that seems no closer to resolution.
Issued by COSATU