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Sports and Football in Algeria


Keep Active With Sport in Algeria

Soccer is the most popular sport in Algeria. Both children and adults regularly play soccer for amusement in the streets and parks. Algeria qualified to participate in the World Cup championships in 1982 and 1986 and won Africa's Continental Championship in 1990. Algeria also has national volleyball and handball teams that have won international championships.

The Algerians have also done very well in track and field until now. In 1999 they came third at the African Games. Although traditional Algerian culture does not encourage woman to take part in competitive sports, Algeria has produced a woman champion in track and field, Hassiba Boulmerka. She became Algerians first Olympic gold medalist in 1992 when she won the 1500-meter race in 3 minutes 55.30 seconds. Noureddine Morceli is one of Algeria's top male track-and-field champions who won a gold medal in 1996 for the 1500-meter race.

Apart from the official sports, men also get together in coffee shops regularly to play chess, checkers, cards, dominos and other games just for recreation. Women also join them from time to time but they are more likely to socialize at home. Algerians are very hospitable. There is a popular saying that is often used by the Algerians and Berbers: "when you come to our house it is we who are the guests, for this is your house.

Algerians also take part in some other interesting sports and recreational activities. Men often go to the public baths or "hammams" to relax and enjoy a warm steam bath and a massage. In the desert regions, sports like horse racing, camel racing and camel dancing are very popular. Although Algeria is generally thought of as a very hot country, it is still possible to ski at the ski resorts in the Algerian mountains.

There are also numerous resorts on the coast of Algeria near Algiers, Oran and Annaba, where people can enjoy all sorts of water sports and swimming. So take advantage of this colorful country and enjoy some great recreational fun while you are here.

Algeria national football team

The Algeria national football team (Arabic: ), nicknamed , Les Fennecs (The Fennec Foxes), represents Algeria in association football and is controlled by the Fdration Algrienne de Football. Algeria's home ground is the Stade 5 Juillet 1962 in Algiers and their head coach is Vahid Halilhodi. Algeria was founded on January 1, 1962 and joined FIFA on January 1, 1964.

Algeria has qualified for four World Cups in 1982, 1986, 2010, and 2014. Algeria has also won the African Cup of Nations once in 1990, when they hosted the tournament.

The traditional rivals of Algeria have been Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. However, more recently, Egypt has become the main rival after a number of incidents involving the two teams, most recently during the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification, in which Algeria defeated Egypt 1-0 in a tense tiebreaker in Omdurman, Sudan to qualify to the World Cup.


The team was established in 1963 as the successor of the FLN football team.

1982 FIFA World Cup

Algeria caused one of the great World Cup upsets on the first day of the tournament with a 21 victory over reigning European Champions West Germany. In the final match in the group between West Germany and Austria, with Algeria having already played their final group game the day before, the European teams knew that a West German win by 1 or 2 goals would qualify them both, while a larger German victory would qualify Algeria over Austria, and a draw or an Austrian win would eliminate the Germans. After 10 minutes of all-out attack, West Germany scored through a goal by Horst Hrubesch. After the goal was scored, the two teams kicked the ball around aimlessly for the rest of the match. Chants of "Fuera, fuera" ("Out, out") were screamed by the Spanish crowd, while angry Algerian supporters waved banknotes at the players. This performance was widely deplored, even by the German and Austrian fans. One German fan was so upset by his team's display that he burned his German flag in disgust.[3] Algeria protested to FIFA, who ruled that the result be allowed to stand; FIFA introduced a revised qualification system at subsequent World Cups in which the final two games in each group were played simultaneously.

1986 FIFA World Cup

In 1984, Algeria took third place in the 1984 Africa Cup of Nations in Cte d'Ivoire. During the 1986 Africa Cup of Nations, the national teams recorded two defeats and one draw and was eliminated in the first round. In Mexico, at the 1986 FIFA World Cup, the Algerians were not able to pass the first round once again in a group that included Northern Ireland (11 draw), Brazil (10 loss), and Spain (30 loss). Only one Algerian managed to score during this competition: Djamel Zidane. From thereon, Algeria failed to qualify for another World Cup until 2010.

1990 African Cup of Nations[edit]

In 1990, Algeria hosted the 1990 African Cup of Nations. In Group A, the Algerians started the tournament by beating Nigeria (51, with doubles by Djamel Menad and Rabah Madjer and a goal by Djamel Amani), Cte d'Ivoire (30, with goals by Djamel Menad, Tahar Cherif El Ouazzani, and Cherif Oudjani) and Egypt (20, with goals by Djamel Amani and Moussa Saib). In the semi-finals, Algeria beat Senegal 21 (goals by Djamel Menad and Djamel Amani in front of 85,000 fans in the Stade 5 Juillet 1962.

In the final against Nigeria, in front of 105,302 fans in the same stadium, Cherif Oudjani, in the 38th minute, enabled Algeria to win the African Nations Cup for the first time. Djamel Menad was crowned top scorer of the competition with four goals.


Having won an Africa Cup of Nations title, the Algerian team, however, had not managed to qualify for the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy. In 1991, the national team won the Afro-Asian Cup of Nations against Iran. As title holders, Algeria disappointed at the 1992 African Cup of Nations in Senegal, recording a loss against Cte d'Ivoire (30) and a draw against Congo (11, with a goal by Nacer Bouiche). In 1994, Algeria was disqualified from the 1994 African Cup of Nations in Tunisia due to the use of an ineligible player and failed during the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

In 1996, Algeria returned to African Cup of Nations, but were eliminated by hosts South Africa in the quarter-finals. The Algerians failed to qualify for the following World Cups in 1998, 2002 and 2006. During the 1998 African Cup of Nations, Algeria finished last in its group with three defeats and was eliminated in the group stage. In the 2000 African Cup of Nations, the Fennecs managed to pass to the first round only to lose to 21 to eventual champions Cameroon in the quarter-finals. Algeria once more failed to pass the first round in the African competition in 2002 but managed to get to the quarter-finals in 2004. However, they were eliminated by Morocco by a score of 31 after extra-time, with the lone Algerian goal was scored by Abdelmalek Cherrad. Algeria failed to qualify for the following two Africa Cup of Nations in 2006 and 2008 although Algeria did manage to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

World Cup 2010 qualifiers

On 11 October 2008, Algeria returned to the top 20 African teams by finishing first in their group ahead of Senegal, Gambia, and Liberia for the second round on the combined 2010 World Cup and 2010 African Cup of Nations qualifications. In the third and final round of the qualifiers, Algeria was joined by Zambia, Rwanda, and Egypt. In July 2009, Algeria made their return amongst the world's top fifty after a 31 win against the double African champions Egypt and a 20 away win against Zambia. Beating Zambia in Blida 10 followed by a 31 win against Rwanda, Algeria ensured that the qualification for the World Cup would go down to the wire with a final encounter against Egypt in Cairo, where nothing less than a loss by three goals would stop the Fennecs from going to South Africa. Prior to the game the Algerian team bus was attacked, leaving several team members injured. This led to a diplomatic row between the two countries. Algeria lost the game 20. Algeria won the resulting play off in Sudan 10. Algeria moved to the 29th position in FIFA ranking one place behind Egypt in the October 2009 ranking. In November 2009, they beat fierce rivals Egypt in a playoff 2010 World Cup in South Africa and moved to the highest FIFA ranking ever reached by Algeria (26) in December 2009.[4]HYPERLINK "" \l "cite_note-5"[5]

They were drawn in Group C, where they faced England, the United States, and Slovenia.

African Cup of Nations 2010

The team put on a mixed performance in the tournament. Being drawn in Group A, with Angola, Malawi and Mali, Algeria started poorly by losing 30 to group outsiders Malawi. However, they improved in the following game against Mali, beating them 10 thanks to a Rafik Halliche header. In the last match, they drew 00 with Angola, which sent them to the second round, finishing with the same amount of points as Mali, but with a superior head-to-head record. Playing in Cabinda, Algeria faced Cte d'Ivoire in the quarterfinals, who were considered heavy favourites to qualify. But they got a historic win. After trailing 10, Karim Matmour equalized, but Keita gave the Ivorians the lead in the 89th minute, a goal which seemed sure to seal their victory. However, the Algerians equalized with Madjid Bougherra just 2 minutes later in added time, and Hameur Bouazza gave the Fennecs the lead in extra time. Algeria faced Egypt in the semi finals, Egypt, in their first meeting since the World Cup qualification play-off. In a controversial match, Egypt won 40 which was the biggest defeat in the history of the team