Algeria is serious about their football team, and well it might be. It was a team born out of the country’s quest for independence from France. Read our guide for more facts and information…
Until 1958 all Algerian professional football players played for France which owned Algeria as a colony. The Algerian national team was formed in secret in 1958 when Mohamed Boumezrag, a leader of a section of the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) of Algeria based in France, returned from the 1957 World Youth Festival.
Boumezrag used contacts he had made during the tournament to recruit the ten best known Algerian football players who were playing for France, and had them secretly transported to Tunisia. This is where the Algerian national team was born on April 13 of that year, in the middle of Algeria’s war for independence from France.
The French Football Association did not take this action lying down. They protested the action to FIFA, the world football governing association. After taking the matter under consideration, they decided against the Algerians and stated that any team playing the Algerian team would be rendered ineligible for the World Cup.
Needless to say, many countries ignored the ruling. The Algerians were able to play in 91 matches over the next four years. In 1962 the Algerians won their fight for independence from France and the Algerian football team was legitimized.
Since that time Algeria has qualified for three world cups in 1982, 1986 and 2010. The national team won the Africa Cup in 2010 when it was the host team.
Algeria has had Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt as their chief rivals. Recently they lost a game to Morocco by a 4-0 score, causing their chance of qualification to the 2012 African Nations Cup to dim.
Only twelve hours after the defeat their coach Abdelhak Benchikha resigned. He had been the coach only since September of 2010. This was his first job as head coach and it had been widely rumored that the Algerian Football Association had wanted to replace him with a man of wider fame.
Any football fan in Algeria wants to own replica shirts of the same type that their favourite professional player wears. This is now possible by shopping at several sites online. The shirts come in home white with a green logo on the left side of the shirt with green stripes on the sleeve. Also available is the away shirt that is green with a white logo and white arm stripes. If desired, throwback shirts that replicate the original team jerseys can also be found.
The team’s next chance to qualify for the African Nations Cup is in September at home against Tunisia. Go ahead and be prepared and order your Algerian football shirt now.