Algeria: Mahrez’s absence, the cases of Gassam and Delort, FIFA, his decision to stay … Belmadi’s new sensational departure!


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A few days after announcing his list for the CAN 2023 qualifiers, Djamel Belmadi appeared at a press conference on Monday. Opportunity to discuss many strong topics and, as usual, coach Fennecs did not miss the words in the remarks made by DZ Foot and Gazette du Fennec, especially Riyad Mahrez, arbitration disputes and the case of Andy Delort.

In the absence of Riyad Mahrez

“It’s an important topic for you, not for me.” Time wants it, we are looking for bad buzz. The answer to Mahrez’s absence has largely been given before, reflecting on this does not raise the level of Algerian journalism. We have received a medical report from Manchester City with medical confidentiality that must be respected. Mahrez did not play two matches after that against Real Madrid. He gritted his teeth at the importance of recent matches, a bit like Ibrahimovic, who had a bitten knee. Make no mistake, our meetings are very important, but maybe if we played the CAN finals, maybe he would grit his teeth. I’ve never forced a player to do that. We often had players who felt bad, including Riyadh, which may explain many performances away from home, but I always gave them a choice. Riyadh is perhaps the player I ask the most, the most demanding, and maybe I tighten the screw with him the most. In EN he was excellent, in some matches capital, in others of course less. If he is injured, he is going on vacation where he wants (…) he was inclined to register the injury, but I refused. I have never asked a player to come to a health check, there is a bond of trust that needs to be respected. »

On his decision to remain at the head of the Fennec

“The supportive messages I received that motivated my arrival and confirmed their trust in me, in my staff, is the main reason why I am here today. If I felt there were any doubts, I wouldn’t be here today. Despite this, we went through a lot of decisions every day that went one way or another. (…) In the first step, we must respond to expectations, to respect people, then to technical work, to know what we can do, what we can bring. New ideas are born without questioning everything, but they have reappeared. »

“There’s a lot of anger in me, but it will be used to return.” I didn’t like the last game at all, especially its end. The players and I will keep this pain for life. (…) I intervened to defend EN, FAF, player investment. We never defeated Cameroon and we defeated them at home. If you look at the 10 playoffs, they are either your own goals, penalties, 1: 0 … maybe except for the second match of Morocco. This problem dates back to 2019, against Zambia the referee was suspended for 3 months, the match in Botswana, where there are attacks, the match against Burkina in Marrakech, the first match in Cameroon, where Bensebaini is warned not to touch. (…) I believe we had a referee who distorted the match, waiting for someone to invite or summon me, no problem. I don’t like them taking two words from my notes to take them away. We have been victims of arbitration since 2019. These judges know how to do it. (…) Mr Infantino says he wants the good of African football, but I do not see anything at all. Who supported EN? No one but the people, I’m sorry, but you (the journalists) have not done your job if we are weak on this side. »

About Andy Delort’s case

Djamel BelmadiPhoto Credit – Icon Sport

“There was a problem with the player in France recently and you know it very well, it was a big deal and everyone was talking about it. I don’t need anyone, but I know very well who is with me or not. His return? I’ve been waiting for this question (laughs), InshAllah will work out. I have nothing personal with Andy (Delort). He’s a problem-free player, but his positions have been a bomb in the locker room. Little confidence: since then, discussions have taken place and new elements have emerged. »

About complicated relations with the Algerian press

“These people do not want to come and express themselves, I invite them to talk to Aboud. But they do not want to express their opinion. We have made a proposal to hold a debate with private channels / journalists, I think it would be good to take it all in stride, it would spark a debate, more than a conference. But it never happened because of problems between some people! »

For new players

“We have been following new players since the beginning. It was felt that the current moment is ideal for their return to the national team. Today the situation is more favorable. Getting into EN is a whole process, especially scouting. It’s the first step for them, not everything is done yet, although if they are there, it’s because they have qualities. The new ones deserved to be there, to be observed. They have to do the hardest, they will be in the middle of the competition and we will have to push ourselves to prove that they can play an important role in EN. (…) There are 2 who came to work earlier than expected, we will make sure that they perform as well as possible in the group. »

To the elders who lost their place

“There is nothing final for unselected players.” As long as we are competitive and believe that a player can help EN, we remain optional unless the player declares that he is leaving international football. We have players who are at a certain age and might consider it’s over for them. Those who brought to EN will be awarded an honorary departure. »

On Slimani’s investment

“Islam Slimani has been in Sidi Moussa for several days, he works as a (tireless) little child, I already have the answer to his hunger, I will see with the new if they will do the same. »

In the fight with Uganda

“Uganda is a tough team, they defeated Kenya and hung Mali. It is a team that gets very few goals and is very difficult to maneuver. The level has approached, there are no more small teams in Africa, we paid the price in CAN ourselves. Even Senegal won 1-0 or drew, etc … “


Djamel Belmadi, Algeria’s coach, appeared at a news conference on Monday. Opportunity for new sensational releases. The Fennec coach again failed in the language of wood.

Julien Pedebos

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