Having the reference to the Constitutional Commission’s decision as of 4 June 2021 “Issues concerning the Member Chess Federation of Morocco - Fédération Royale Marocaine des Échecs” that provides an obligation to appoint a FIDE reverse delegate for Morocco, the FIDE Council approves Mr. Bachar Kouatly, the FIDE Deputy President as the FIDE Reverse Delegate. The FIDE Reverse Delegate takes up his full duties on 14 July 2021.
June 30, 2021: Since the FIDE Constitutional Commission has taken the decision that FIDE shall appoint a reverse delegate for Morocco, FIDE extends its invitation and expects all interested parties to submit the proposals for a candidate for this position with a justification of their proper competencies by the 6th of July, 2021.
This is the full text of the Constitutional Commission’s Decision:
“Issues concerning the Member Chess Federation of Morocco - Fédération Royale Marocaine des Échecs
Already in September 2019, FIDE was informed that the mandate of the President of the Royal Moroccan Chess Federation, Mr. Mustapha Amazzal, as well as the mandate of the board (“Comité directeur”) of the Royal Moroccan Chess Federation, elected in 2015, expired in March 2019 and no new elections were scheduled in accordance with the statutes of the Royal Moroccan Chess Federation.
FIDE received a copy of a communication (original version in Arabic language, with a translated version in English), addressed to Mr. Mustapha Amazzal by the Moroccan Minister of Youth and Sport, dated 2nd of April 2019, where it was underlined that no general assemblies of the Moroccan Chess Federation were held in the sportive seasons 2016/2017 and 2017/2018, that the budget submissions were not approved, that the extraordinary elective assembly, due to be organised on February 2019, failed as well, and that for these reasons “I hereby request from you to correct the conditions of the Royal Moroccan Chess Federation and settle all legal imbalances that affect its management in a delay of three weeks maximum”.
In connection with the participation of a representative of the Royal Moroccan Chess Federation both in the Abu Dhabi FIDE Extraordinary General Assembly, in February 2020, and in the 91st FIDE Congress and in the Online General Assembly, in December 2020, no information about a new election was provided to FIDE. Therefore, in September 2020, the Royal Moroccan Chess Federation was notified by FIDE of their obligations to hold regular assemblies and elections, with reference to art. 11 q) of the FIDE Charter.
Mr. Mustapha Amazzal answered in October 2020, exposing a situation of internal conflict with some clubs and some persons, especially a contrast with Mr. Zoheir Slami, a member of the board of Royal Moroccan Chess Federation, who submitted complaints to national judicial authorities and to FIDE. With his letter, Mr. Mustapha Amazzal asked the intervention of FIDE, also with Moroccan governmental authorities, to facilitate the organisation of an elective assembly.
In November 2020, FIDE Offices referred to the Constitutional Commission the case concerning the Royal Moroccan Chess Federation and the right to vote in the December 2020 General Assembly. The Constitutional Commission examined the case. The parties involved were contacted to mediate a possible solution, that was found among them. Given that new elections of this Federation seemed to be scheduled for the beginning of 2021, there was no opposition about the possibility for Mr. Mustapha Amzal to represent the Royal Federation of Morocco in the 2020 GA, under the condition that this will be the last time a representative of the current board will act as a delegate of the Royal Moroccan Chess Federation. Therefore, the Constitutional Commission confirmed the legitimacy of the participation in the meeting of Mr. Mustapha Amzal as the official representative of the Royal Moroccan Chess Federation.
However, in the following months, the Constitutional Commission was informed that an Extraordinary Assembly, due to be held on 14th of March 2021, was annulled, because not authorised by the locals administrative authorities, given that the premises were not respecting administrative legal prescriptions (probably related to Covid pandemic) and that another Extraordinary Assembly, not even an elective one, scheduled on 30th of May 2021, was not held again, this time also as a consequence of some controversies about the right to convene the assembly, the right to vote and the right to participate in the assembly.
FIDE also received some letters from Moroccan clubs and organisers, where they expose that because of the crisis in the Royal Moroccan Federation of Chess, their players and arbiters are deprived of the opportunity to improve their ratings and their titles, and that the situation generates great damages for the players.
Another letter was sent to FIDE by the AIDEF (Association International Des Échecs Francophones), where the “chaotic” situation of the Moroccan federation was exposed, charging it to the responsibility of Mr. Mustapha Amzal, who would also regularly refuse to homologate tournaments organised by clubs and persons that he considers as his “opposants”, recalling that the same Mr. Mustapha Amzal, in 2007, was sanctioned by the FIDE Ethics Commission, with the exclusion to participate in FIDE events for a period of three years and to organise FIDE events for two years, having authorised a practice of submission to the competent FIDE organs of falsified or fake International Arbiter title norm reports, aiding and abetting this practice. AIDEF also reminded that in 2013 they were obliged to receive directly by FIDE the authorisation to organise a chess event in Morocco, as a consequence of an unmotivated opposition by Mr. Mustapha Amzal. Lastly, AIDEF expressed the intention to organise in Casablanca, Morocco, in December 2021, the 8th edition of the “Rencontres Internationales des Échecs Francophones”, their major annual event, asking FIDE to assure the possibility to organise it in a situation of “serenity”.
Then, the Constitutional Commission was charged again to express a decision about this case.
The Constitutional Commission considers that there are no doubts that the Royal Moroccan Federation of Chess has violated at least art. 11 c) and art. 11 q) of FIDE Charter, that preview, among the obligations of Member Federations, “to comply with their own statutes, rules and regulations, refraining from taking discriminatory decisions or actions” and “to regularly organise general assemblies and elections, in accordance with their statutes and national legal order”.
Consequently, the Royal Moroccan Federation of Chess could be suspended from FIDE membership, following a decision of the Council.
However, the suspension would affect even more the interests of Moroccan players, arbiters, trainers and organisers.
The current situation of the Royal Moroccan Federation of Chess, unfortunately, is not a single case, it is similar to other cases that the Constitutional Commission had and will have to deal with and are becoming more and more frequent. There is an internal dispute among two or more groups of people. The legitimacy of the President and of the Board of a Member Federation is challenged, in front of national courts and/or national administrative/governmental Authorities. No final decision is assumed at a national level, for prolonged periods of time. In the meantime, ordinary activities of the chess federation are suffering, for prolonged periods of time a federation cannot be really represented by a delegate in FIDE, the situation creates difficulties and problems especially to players, arbiters, trainers and organisers; some tournaments are not authorised; teams for international competitions are not regularly selected; there are accuses of discriminations against opponents.
FIDE observes strict neutrality in the internal affairs of its members but has the right and duty to evaluate their compliance with FIDE principles and their obligations towards FIDE, has exclusive rights for official chess ratings and official ranking systems, has to undertake all measures necessary to guarantee equal access to the game of chess and tournaments, has to take any effort aimed to improve good governance in all chess organisations and to strengthen the unity of national chess federations, in the best interest of chess players.
For these reasons, in order to guarantee the interests of Moroccan players, arbiters, trainers and organisers, in accordance with the proposal advanced in the December 2020 report to the General Assembly, the Constitutional Commission indicates the opportunity to nominate a “FIDE reverse delegate” for Morocco, with a decision of the FIDE President, to be ratified by the FIDE Council.
The appointment of a reverse delegate, for a temporary period of, for instance, six months, is a much less severe measure than a suspension and can be considered fully in accordance with FIDE rules and regulations.
The “FIDE reverse delegate” for a given Member Federation, in this case for the Royal Moroccan Federation of Chess, is a person chosen by FIDE, who has a good knowledge of FIDE rules and regulations, who has a good knowledge of official language/s of that Member Federation, who is sufficiently well informed about the internal situation of the Member Federation not complying with its obligations, but who is not directly involved in the internal conflictual situation. The FIDE reverse delegate will not represent that Member Federation, even less will have voting powers on behalf of that Member Federation, but will be the person designated by FIDE and charged: from one side, to make the interests of that federation in front of FIDE, substituting the representative of the Member Federation in the ordinary contacts with FIDE, collecting, evaluating and sending FIDE the requests regarding players, arbiters, organisers and trainers; from another side, to inform FIDE about the situation and the evolution of national disputes and to liaise with national authorities. The reverse delegate will be charged and empowered, especially of the following activities:
- to evaluate and send FIDE requests about FIDE titles, ratings, events;
- to evaluate and send FIDE requests about the participation of players in FIDE competitions, including team’s events, as Chess Olympiads;
- to liaise with national authorities, facilitating the solution of internal conflicts, if requested.
On these bases, the Constitutional Commission evaluates that the Royal Moroccan Chess Federation violated art. 11 c) and art. 11 q) of FIDE Charter, but considers that the suspension of its membership would not be necessary, in the case the FIDE President and the FIDE Council would designate a FIDE reverse delegate for Morocco.”
FIDE hopes that the proper functioning of the federation may be revived in the nearest time.