Three players from Algeria’s national football team were injured when their bus was stoned in Egypt. Algeria and Egypt are set to play a highly charged World Cup qualifier in Cairo on Saturday.
REUTERS - Three players from Algeria’s national football team were slightly hurt on Thursday when youths stoned their bus as they arrived in Cairo for a World Cup qualifier against Egypt, Algerian state radio reported.
Algeria’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement expressing its “consternation” at the attack, which came two days before the match to decide which of the two teams will take part in the World Cup finals in South Africa next year.
A reporter for Algerian state radio said that about 200 young people appeared just as the bus arrived at the team hotel and launched a hail of stones at the vehicle, smashing the several windows.
“It was a very regrettable incident,” Hachemi Djiar, Algeria’s minister for youth and Sport told state radio by telephone from the Egyptian capital.
“On the way from the airport the bus was attacked by a group of youths who were throwing stones,” he said.
There was no immediate comment available from Egyptian officials. The Algerian sports minister said officials with FIFA, world football’s governing body, were aware of the incident and were meeting to decide what action to take.
The qualifying match has stirred passions in both Egypt and Algeria. If Algeria qualify, it will be the first time they have gone to the finals since 1986.
Failure to qualify would be a huge disappointment for Egypt, which is the holder of the African Cup of Nations trophy.
The Secretary-General of Algeria’s Foreign Ministry, Madjid Bouguerra, had a meeting in his office with the Egyptian ambassador soon after the incident.
“He (Bouguerra) expressed the consternation of the Algerian authorities over this incident,” the ministry said in its statement, which was reported by Algeria’s official APS news agency.
“He asked him, insistently, that the Egyptian authorities take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of the whole Algerian delegation as well as Algerian supporters who have travelled to Cairo to attend the match.”
Date created : 2009-11-12