Updated: Algerian Football Suspended

25 Aug

Following a special meeting held yesterday, the Algerian Football Federation (AFF) has suspended all football following the death of forward Albert Ebossé. The Federation had already closed JS Kabylie’s stadium, and the closure instructions were extended to all football teams for the upcoming weekend.

Here is the official statement from Federation president Mohamed Raouraoua:

1. All matches of championship professional and amateur leagues all categories scheduled across the country for the weekend of August 29 and 30 are suspended and postponed until a later date, this in homage to the player Albert Ebossé died tragically and also to protest the irresponsible actions of some fanatics and hooligans that perpetuate violence in stadiums and has reached unacceptable proportions.

FAF, the federal office and members of the general assembly will study soon other more coercive measures that may disqualify the offending club from all competitions.

2. FAF, the LFP and JSK decided to grant compensation in the amount of ten million dinars (100,000 dollars) to the family of the deceased. Furthermore, it was decided by mutual agreement with JS Kabylie, all deceased player salaries will be fully paid to his family until his contract expired with JSK.

Additionally, it is reported Ebossé’s JS Kabylie’s teammates will each donate one month’s salary.

The Federation’s decisions are a start, a good start, and I am glad they were relatively quick in their decision-making. The right thing was to suspend the league and they did it. The inquiry into Ebossé’s death is underway, and a broader investigation into hooliganism in Algerian football is proceeding in tandem.

As for FIFA, well, Blatter took to Twitter to express his thoughts: “Intolerable that a fan causes a player’s death. Stop the violence. My emotional thoughts go to Albert Ebosse’s family. RIP.” Nothing yet on the FIFA website in memoriam or in support of the AFF.

UPDATED: FIFA have now posted a statement in response to Albert Ebosse’s death

Ebossé and Kamel Yesli (on the right)

JS Kabylie has posted an interview with Ebossé’s teammate and close friend Kamel Yesli. It was Yelsi who accompanied Ebossé to the hospital that night. Yelsi indicates in the interview that Ebossé has a young daughter, which makes this all the more heartbreaking.

And if you were wondering where these people got the rocks, the BBC is reporting, “the stadium was under maintenance at the time of the game and fans threw loose stones that were lying on the ground.” Questions abound regarding possible negligence of the club in securing the construction, and why the stadium was being used at all.

I’m still not able to fully process this even happened. My thoughts are all over the place. No doubt it will take weeks before the whole story unfolds and further actions are taken. Until then, I really really hope other leagues take notice and start to address the issue of hooliganism in their own countries too. This isn’t an issue isolated to Algeria or Africa like I’m sure some want to believe; it is everywhere and it is increasing. Please don’t let Ebossé’s death be for nothing. We can’t let it be; we just can’t.


2 Responses to “Updated: Algerian Football Suspended”

  1. headbandsandheartbreak August 25, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    Reading that interview with Kamel Yesli made me cry. He’s obviously devastated.

    From what he said, stone throwing seems common? How does something like become common?! And cinder blocks? JFC.

    And this was so depressing He talked about the two of them walking around town: “We have never been insulted by fans. Instead, they liked him. He was their favorite player but they killed him.”

    I can’t imagine how he feels seeing one of his best friends murdered in front of him over a game.

    His poor family and his little girl. This gets more tragic by the second.

  2. Christine August 25, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    I couldn’t believe this when I heard about this, this morning. Deep down I knew it was only a matter of time before someone got hurt with all this throwing shit on the pitch nonsense but to cause a death is just so….I don’t think I have the right words. My heart breaks for his family and his team mates.

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