By Samindra Kunti
Controversial CAF first vice president and Moroccan FA president Fouzi Lekjaa has resigned as president of Moroccan club RS Berkane after a ten-year reign.
Earlier this year Lekjaa plunged CAF into crisis following allegations, supported by eye witnesses, he headbutted Ethiopian FIFA-listed Referee Bamelak Tessema after RS Berkane, Lekjaa’s hometown club, lost to Zamalek of Egypt in the CAF Confederation Cup final in Alexandria.
In a remarkable application of justice, Lekjaa was eventually let off the hook by CAF’s disciplinary committee.
On Wednesday Lekjaa’s decade-long tenure as president of RS Berkane came to an end at the club’s general meeting, when he relinquished his role to be replaced by Berkane’s vice president Hakim Ben Abdellah.
Having taken the club presidency in 2009, in 2012 Berkane gained promotion to the Moroccan top flight after a 25-year absence. Last season Berkane reached the final of the African Confederation Cup, but lost on penalties against Egypt’s Zamalek – the scene of Lejkaa’s alleged violent assault.
‘”I don’t consider my decision a surprise,” Lekjaa told local media. “It’s more like normal process. In addition to the sporting results, we have managed to renew our management, with the arrival of several young people. Today, they have reached a level of maturity that gives them the opportunity to manage the club with ease. I have full confidence in Hakim Ben Abdellah and I am sure he will do even better than we.”
“This does not mean that he is distancing himself from Berkane,” said Ben Abdellah. “On the contrary, Fouzi Lekjaâ will continue to work in other projects of the club.”