Algerian fan: 'What's important is that we made it to the World Cup!'

[Echorouk al-Yawm, Algeria]



El Watan, Algeria

Hard Luck for Algeria; Success for 'Children of Uncle Sam'


"The Americans, be they from Beverly Hills, Nebraska, Ohio or the Bronx, were kept breathless by a small team from Algeria, which they couldn't even find on the map. ... It was a triumph - let us admit - for the children of Uncle Sam."


By Omar Kharoum


Translated By Nicolas Dagher


June 24, 2010


Algeria - El Watan - Original Article (French)

Politics and sport: Algerians are very proud of their national team, in part for the political statements its victories represent. At the 2010 World Cup, eliminating England and America was seen as a way of standing up for Palestinians in Gaza.


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Algerian Striker Rafik Saifi attacks a female journalist after loss against USA, June 25, 00:00:56RealVideo

Thanks and see you soon. That's certainly one way of naming our editorial page, which describes the path of the Algerian players in the World Cup. How to outline this most unexpected stage in the history of our national team? From the beginning, the team was a heterogeneous lot - second generation Algerians born to immigrants with diverse European backgrounds, profoundly devoted to their country of origin, Algeria - all of whom had the merit to spur emotion, regardless of whether it was inside the tony residences of Hydra, El Biar and Moretti, or the difficult to pronounce suburbs of Batna, Tlemcen, Souk Akhras, Annaba and Laghouat.


We can say thank you to all those little green men coming mostly from Europe and who claim, to our great honor, that they are more Algerian than the Algerians, or as Karim Ziani said, “One thousand percent [Algerian].” That is an honorable and legitimate national sentiment, even if others will tell you that going three matches without a victory and particularly without a goal aren't worthy of the name. Why conclude such a thing, when at the beginning (we must remind the most amnesiac among us), it was only about qualifying for the Africa Cup? Then [last November], we had bloody Cairo and the intensely followed match in Omdurman (Sudan), which has already been inscribed into the legend of the national team and which was, according to my humble opinion, created the biggest leap in the team's “spontaneous popularity” since the claims of October 1988. But this time, the Algerian government was on the right side of events and sent logistical support. [The Algerian government offered aircraft for the team's supporters heading to Sudan].



[Editor’s note: The author refers to Algeria's victory over Egypt in the World Cup qualifier last November. Matches were played in Cairo and Sudan, Algerian players were attacked in Cairo and there was tremendous tension between the two countries.]


In the end, the Greens were eliminated from the World Cup, but at least they attracted the world's recognition: where diplomacy had failed, our football ambassadors succeeded in giving a much clearer picture of the government's political positions. Belittled at the international level, the Greens (as we affectingly call them) forced respect from the Arab world, or simply the world.


The Americans, be they from Beverly Hills, Nebraska, Ohio or the Bronx, were kept breathless by a small team from Algeria, which they couldn't even find on the map. Today it is done: what politics failed to establish, football has. There are two aspects to this issue:   


Game over: Landon Donovan after scoring the winning goal against

Algeria in their World Cup match, June 23. The Americans won 1-0.



Echorouk al-Yawm, Algeria: Elimination of U.S., England a 'Love Letter' for Gaza

Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany: In U.S., Germany, Shared Derision Over Referees

Guardian, U.K.: FIFA Declares Itself Satisfied With 'Standard of Referees'


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First, the Greens put in a creditable performance given the courage they showed throughout the match, until mainly in the second half, they were exposed to the bludgeoning of the Americans - fortunately, without much U.S. success. Until the 91st minute. It was a triumph - let us admit - for the children of Uncle Sam, even if there was an open door for the legendary Saiifi, whose header ended in the hands of the American goalkeeper.



Second is the consolation prize: True, we lost an excellent opportunity to reach the second round, but analysts and consultants on all sides (who have proliferated during the World Cup on TVs, radios and newspapers) will tell you that, on the contrary, Algeria has shown itself to be “a team for the future.” We'd like to believe that, because in that future, we will have to reenter the cauldron of hot fields in Africa and beyond. This is (with or without coach Saadane) another story that the national press will not fail to invest in. See you soon Greens …



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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US June 25, 3:20pm]


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