between Sebgag and Amara the cloth is burning – Jeune Afrique

Who said Algerian football was bathed in serenity? After an African Cup of Nations (CAN) in Cameroon marked by elimination in the first round, then a failure against the Cameroonian Indomitable Lions in the qualifying play-off for the World Cup in Qatar (1-0, 1-2), to which Added to the fiery statements by Algerian coach Djamel Belmadi about Gambian referee Bakary Gassama, the tensions are palpable far from the pitch. And it is Abderrezak Sebgag and Charaf-Eddine Amara who take the lead roles.

The latest installment in the battle between these two influential personalities has not gone unnoticed. Like good actors, the Minister of Sports and the President of the Algerian Football Federation, who is also the CEO of the Madar holding company, provided their scene. The place ? The legendary July 5 stadium in Algiers, recently renovated as part of the African Nations Championship (Chan) that Algeria will host in January 2023. The pretext? An international friendly between the under-23 teams of Algeria and Palestine. A poster not quite like the others, as the Algerian state is one of the most supportive of the Palestinian cause.

As sports minister, Sebgag had blocked his Sunday calendar from attending the game in the company of several thousand of his compatriots. But after getting out of his company car and taking a few steps, Sebgag was informed that Charaf-Eddine Amara, as FAF president, was also at the stadium. A presence deemed unacceptable by the member of government, who immediately turned on his heels to vacate the premises and return home. “Sebgag, but also most of his ministry, believe that Amara had nothing to do with the stadium, because none of them still consider him president of the federation,” a journalist sums up the deterioration of relations between the two men closely together. In the meantime, after greeting the players of both teams, Amara watched the match (3-1) won by the Algerians from the stands.


The minister’s attitude would have been outraged at the highest level of the state, because of the specific context in which the scene took place. Sebgag, he wouldn’t understand why Amara is still in charge of the Algerian Federation. He’s not alone. Two days after Cameroon’s shutdown in Blida, the leader announced his resignation on March 31, as well as that of the FAF’s federal office, explaining that the transition would be ensured by Mohamed Maouche, 86, responsible for convening within sixty days of the next elective general meeting. But on April 3, at the Federal Office of the Transfer of Power meeting, Amara realized that not all members intended to resign. And after a memorable kickback session, the former CR Bélouizdad president had changed his mind, believing his resignation could only be confirmed by the general assembly that had elected him a year earlier.

However, according to the statutes of the authority, any of its members can resign whenever they want without being required to appear before the elective GA. “A simple registered letter addressed to the Secretary-General is sufficient. The person who resigns must also be aware of his contributions. If these conditions are met, he can leave, explains a good friend of the federation. But Amara has not taken any of these steps and still considers herself the president of the FAF. However, the federal office can no longer legally exist as 8 of its 13 members have resigned and at least 7 are needed.” In this context, it is therefore impossible for the federal office to hold an ordinary, extraordinary or even elective general meeting. “We are really in a stalemate and that annoys the Minister of Sport, who initially spoke very little about the matters that shook the union.”


In other words, Abderrezak Sebgag – and no doubt the entire government with him – dreams every night that Amara is emptying the drawers of his office in the Dely Brahim neighborhood of Algiers and that the FAF gets a new boss as soon as possible. But the minister can’t say it too harshly, as this would be seen by FIFA as a signature meddling of political power in football affairs. And the government of world football hates this kind of interference: Kenya and Zimbabwe just found out the hard way by being banned from qualifying for CAN 2023, which was due to begin in early June, after FIFA suspended their federation .

In Algeria, we have fun or regret, as you will, to see the two men tense their muscles. So with a certain fatalism, a former club manager summarizes the situation, also on condition of anonymity, with the subject being sensitive… “Amara has not done much for local football. He is not a seraglio man, he was chosen because the political power wanted him. And most of the members of the federal agency who didn’t elect Amara are more concerned with their own interests. As for Sebgag, the Algerians have little respect for him. “At this point there is at least a draw…

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