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Friendly match opposing Algeria to Gambia was canceled a few hours before its kick-off

The friendly match in preparation for the 2021 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, opposing the Algerian national team to its Gambian counterpart, scheduled for Saturday, January 1, 2022, in Doha (Qatar), has been canceled, according to the Algerian Football Federation (FAF).

The Algerian Football Federation said in a statement published on its official website that the Gambian team decided to cancel the match unilaterally due to the absence of its goalkeeper, a few hours before the start of the match, despite all the efforts made by the FAF and the organizers for the success of this sport event.

The statement added: “The Algerian Football Federation regrets this attitude, which shows a great lack of professionalism and respect towards the parties that mobilized all the means for the success of this preparatory match, in a sister country through the Qatar Football Federation, which did not hesitate to provide the necessary assistance and facilities to overcome any difficulties.

According to the same source, the difficulty of organizing the preparatory training as well as the friendly match, due to the absence of a number of Algerian players mentioned by the national coach Djamel Belmadi in the press conference he held last Thursday, December 30 in Doha, did not prevent the Algerian team to call on the substitute goalkeeper Abderrahmane Medjadel, to make up for the absence of Rais Mbolhi and Mustapha Zaghba and ensured the minimum number of players to participate in this friendly match.

The Algerian Football Federation also considered that the Gambia coach’s announcement to cancel the friendly match, before the decision was officially taken, was an improvised and improper act, and vowed to “take the necessary measures, with the competent bodies, to recover its rights.”

Belmadi’s cubs will wait for the preparatory match against Ghana on Wednesday, January 5, 2022, in Doha, Qatar, before moving to Douala, Cameroon, the following day.

For its part, the Gambian Football Federation, which is currently in a closed training in Doha, announced the cancellation of the two friendly matches against Algeria and Syria due to the absence of 16 players for various reasons, which represents about 57 percent of the list of 28 players who will participate in the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon.

The Gambia Federation has published on its official website a list of 16 absent players for various reasons.

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