Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Rapture grips Algeria

ALGIERS, November 19- Algerians at home and abroad exploded with joy as the final whistle sounded in Khartoum to send the north African country to its first football World Cup since 1986.

ALGERIANS_CELEBRATE_Cheers broke out around Algeria at the end of the match, after what one supporter, 45-year-old Djamel, called "90 minutes of the worst agonies".

In France, celebrations were marred by violence in some areas, with cars set alight and police firing tear gas.

Hundreds of thousands of people, young and old, flooded into the streets in towns and villages across Algeria, celebrating with flags, fireworks and car horns.

Even a few police officers lost their cool, sounding their sirens to join in the rapture at the triumph of "les Verts" — Algeria’s green-shirted side who beat Egypt 1-0 in the do-or-die playoff in Khartoum.

Around Algiers, fans shouted "Thank you, les Verts", "One, two, three, viva Algeria" and "We’re going to the World Cup".

Packed into cars and running through the crowded streets, young men and women — many wrapped in the green and white national flag — beamed with happiness.

"It’s too much, they’ve given us everything," said Naima, 18, laughing and crying at once.

"Do you have any idea what the tension was like? We’ve shown our support for the team since they were beaten in Cairo on Saturday and now we’ve done it. The dream has come true!" one of her friends shouted.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Huge crowds turned out on the promenade in the western coastal city of Oran and similar scenes of jubilation were reported in other towns and villages around the country.

"The players took their revenge on the pitch and they gave joy to all the Algerian people," said Mohamed Raouraoua, president of the Algerian football federation, the APS news agency reported.

The mood was very different in Cairo, where the normally traffic-packed streets were deserted during the match.

Young Egyptian supporters took to the streets to bang drums and set off firecrackers after their side’s defeat, but their heart was not in it.

"One day you win, one day you lose," Egyptian supporter Khaled Hassan said philosophically, referring to his team’s 2-0 win over the "Desert Foxes" in Cairo on Saturday.

In one cafe a man fainted on the final whistle and was put into a taxi by his friends.

In France, which ruled Algeria until independence in 1962, euphoria reigned in parts of Paris, where crowds of Algerians and French Algerians gathered in the Barbes area to celebrate the win with cheers, flags and firecrackers.

Across the French capital, convoys of cars drove up and down the streets, flying the Algerian flag and sounding their horns, often cheered by passers-by awaiting the outcome of the France-Ireland match.

Algerian supporters crowded the Champs Elysees, which was closed to traffic, celebrating their victory. Several threw bottles at police, who responded with tear gas.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Several motor scooters and trash bins were later set alight and windows of several businesses smashed, with a Mont Blanc pen shop looted.

Horns blared and Algerian music played in the southern French port of Marseille as the city’s sizeable Algerian and French-Algerian population celebrated the win.

More than 1,000 people gathered in the centre of the eastern French city of Lyon, but the celebrations were marred by violence as around a dozen cars were set alight, according to police.

Police in the eastern town of Grenoble used tear gas and made three arrests as more vehicles were burned. Tear gas was also fired in Marseille to disperse a few dozen bottle-throwing young people in the Old Port district.

More than 20 people were arrested in the northern city of Roubaix after several cars and trash bins were set on fire and windows broken, police said.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


More on Capital Sports


NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 – There is light at the end of the tunnel. After failed promises over the last three years since its...


NAIROBI, Kenya, June 8 – Olympic Champion Caster Semenya and wife Violet Raseboya have hinted that they might be expecting a baby in a...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 15 – Daniel Wanjiru, the 2017 London Marathon champion has been slapped with a four-year ban by the World Athletics Disciplinary...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – Kenya’s history making Daniel Adongo, the first Kenyan to play in America’s National Football League (NFL), is now living...

© 2020 Capital Digital Media. Capital Group Limited. All Rights Reserved