The Moroccan cultural ministry has accused Adidas of illegally appropriating as aspect of their culture to design the Algerian jersey.
Why is this happening?
This comes after Adidas unveiled new designs for the Algerian team, Morocco said it was adopted from the Zellige- which is a tile design indigenous to Morocco.
Driving the story.
This is a new set of arguments in the long-standing bad blood between the two countries. In 2021, Algeria severed diplomatic ties with its neighbor after charging Morocco with “hostile conduct.” The action was deemed “totally unreasonable” by Morocco.
Both countries share a border and were colonized by France. Since independence, the conflict over who owns about 2000 kilometres of that border has broken the relationship between the two countries. Then in 1963, both countries fought the “Sand War” because Morocco claimed the territory. Later, Algeria supported the Polisario Front’s effort to secede from Morocco, which sparked the 1975–1991 Western Sahara War.
In 1994, a hotel in the ancient Moroccan city of Marrakesh was bombed by militant Islamists, leading to the border being shut for security concerns.
Adidas has defended the design by saying it was inspired by the Mechouar Palace in Algeria. The Moroccan ministry has given the two weeks to recall and end further use of the design. Conflict over Western Sahara still continues.