The statements made by the former international player Abdel Hamid Marrakchi left a lot of varying controversy and reactions in the football arena, and especially among the Algerian fans, and this is in parallel with his appearance in a live broadcast with his fans on the social networking site, where he confirmed that the national football team won the 2019 African Nations Cup thanks to the children of France, not the children of Algeria, calling for the necessity of cleansing the footballing sphere and paying attention to young talents in Algeria.
For some awkward talk, he couldn’t do any worse. We say clumsy, not segregationist, because we think we know what the speaker was thinking. In extenso, Hamid Merakchi, a former Algerian international, felt that “the African Cup was not won by local players, but thanks to those who were born in France. I am not against them, but France allowed us to win the African Cup» .
A statement that leaves something to be desired even if it consisted in calling for a training policy for the national label.
It goes from the statement: “Africa has enabled France to win the World Cup” and “France has won the African Cup”. A shift that demonstrates the universality of the round ball. A trainer can keep his product or export it.
“This is what is happening with France, one of the countries that has one of the most effective product monitoring and purification policies”.
But that’s not really the point. In Merakchi’s statement, there’s a semblance of bashing and some truth to it: Algeria’s dependence on players trained elsewhere.
The EN’s recent achievements (the two 2010 and 2014 World Cup qualifiers in particular) have waited for the arrival of footballers born on the other side of the Mediterranean shore. The latter were able to bring the footballing quality required by the highest level. They included Bouguera, Ziani, Yahia, Belhadj, Mahrez, Feghouli and others.
However, the former centre forward of MC Algiers made an error of judgement, or let us say of appreciation, by evaluating at “99%” the share of the binationals who made up the African championship squad in Egypt.
This is completely wrong. Atal, Benlamri, Bensebaïni, Belaïli and Bounedjah, who were regulars, are the products of our clubs and our championship. This discredits the statement of the man who made five appearances with Les Fennecs for five goals.
In addition, 7 of the 23 elements selected for the biennial meeting of CAF, or 30% of the troops, have made their steps in the national championship.
What is also important to know is that in Africa, all the teams are not afraid to use the Bahamian law instigated by Mohamed Raouraoua, former president of the Algerian Football Federation (FAF), in 2009.
It is a maneuver that allows footballers who have played at youth level in a country to change their sporting nationality. Previously, the level of 21 was an ultimatum to choose a sporting nationality.
This waiver allowed many to relaunch their international careers. Provided they did not play at senior level. The only African country that can count on quality domestic production is Egypt, seven times champions of the continent, because the team has always been the strongest in the land of the Nile. As proof, they have been able to export a player like Mohamed Salah, now a star at Liverpool.
In the end, and in order not to pour oil on the fire, we’ll just say that Merakchi defended the interest of young Algerian footballers who don’t know what it’s like to be trained. The native of Aïn Témouchent has pointed the finger at those in charge of football in Algeria who are doing nothing to change things.
According to him, “if we judge those who manage Algerian football, they will all be condemned. They embezzled as much money as those who were in politics and were sent to prison. “Club presidents are thieves, managers are crooked opportunists who have nothing to do with football. A fish vendor can become president, a mason vice-president” as he put it.
You don’t understand anything anymore. How do you want the level of our football to improve? “he said.
For Abdelhamid Merakchi, “we need to cleanse the national footballing environment” and “take care of our youngsters”, who don’t have a lot of opportunities to consider real career plans.
Yes, the former striker, who had professional experience between 1998 and 2000 in Turkey with Gençlerbirliği club, is right in substance but not in form.