Algeria Football Team Given A Heroes Welcome Upon Return From Brazil.
In contrast to the reactions shown by officials from the other African countries that competed in this year’s FIFA World Cup, the Algerian national team were given a hero-like welcome upon their return home from Brazil.
Having been one of two African countries to make it to the round of 16, the team achieved victory by being the first African team to score four goals at one match in World Cup history, and also became the first Algerian team to progress beyond the group stage at the World Cup.
Although they were defeated 2-1 by Germany, the support from their fellow Algerians remained strong even after their loss, so much so that the Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal personally greeted and thanked the players as they arrived home. The team has also decided to donate their prize money to the people of Gaza saying that they needed it more than the team did.
Talk of money amongst the other African teams begun even before kickoff with Cameroon refusing to board their plane over wage disputes.
During the tournament, Ghana’s presence was marred by a bonus money airlifting scandal, Nigeria refused to attend practice over bonus money issues and had to be reassured by the president that they would receive money owed to them, and Cameroon is being investigated following match-fixing claims. Both Cameroon and Ghana’s Presidents have called for investigations into their teams’ performances at the World Cup. Algeria and the Ivory Coast are the only two African countries that were controversy free during this year’s World Cup.
And where Nigeria’s coach Stephen Keshi resigned from his duties as Nigeria’s head coach, despite winning last year’s Africa Cup of Nations (the second man as player and coach to achieve this title), and having gotten the Super Eagles to the last 16 stage of the World Cup, Algeria are keeping Bosnian coach Vahid Halilhodzic.
Keshi’s resignation has not been made formal yet but there are already talks that he might become Bafana Bafana’s new coach.
Despite the controversies surrounding the West African teams, often attributed to the corrupt practices of soccer officials in their countries, this World Cup was monumental for Africa in many ways. From having two teams in the round of 16 for the first time ever, to Asamoah Gyan’s top African player scorer feat.
See footage of the Algerian team’s return parade.