The Algeria national team and manager Djamel Belmadi just will not let things go after their loss to Cameroon in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying as the fallout and controversy only continues to escalate a month after Algeria’s second leg extra time defeat in Blida. Following the announcement that he would keep his job as Algeria manager, Belmadi escalated his personal war on Gambian referee Bakary Gassama with vengeful comments on Sunday, stating: “I’m not saying he should be killed, but he shouldn’t be left alone. He took away the hope of a whole people.” The manager also admitted to confronting Gassama in a Turkish airport and launching a verbal attack.
Belmadi’s comments have brought a universally negative reaction in the football world outside of Algeria. Cameroon legend Patrick Mboma went on French-language television station Canal+ to lambast the tactician and French pundits also piled further criticism on Belmadi by labeling him delirious and mediocre. The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) has jumped in to defend their referee, demanding an apology from the Algeria Football Federation (FAF) who have stood behind Belmadi and even gave him a platform to air his comments with an interview on the federation’s television station.
More on the never ending saga is below from BBC Sport Africa and French-language media, who have all of Belmadi’s venomous comments.