By Riad Beladi
Algerian football is currently embroiled in a heated controversy following the national team’s disappointing exit from the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast. The 0-1 defeat against Mauritania in the first round has triggered a new dispute between Walid Sadi, the president of the Algerian Football Federation (FAF), and the national team coach, Djamel Belmadi.
At a time when it seemed that Djamel Belmadi’s resignation was a settled matter, with speculation about potential successors circulating in the Algerian sports press, a surprising twist has emerged. Reports suggest that Belmadi has not yet formally resigned and is now engaged in a contractual tug-of-war with the FAF over departure indemnities.
Belmadi, whose monthly salary is estimated to be a hefty 208,000 euros, stands among the highest-paid coaches in Africa. His demand for the full payment of indemnities until 2026 has put the FAF in a delicate position, potentially requiring them to release a substantial sum running into millions of euros.
The dispute raises questions about the stability and management of Algerian football, as fans grapple with the aftermath of a disappointing tournament and the prospect of a change in coaching staff. While speculations about potential successors, including Vahid Halilhodzic, Hervé Renard, and even Zinédine Zidane, have been circulating, the focus remains on resolving the ongoing contractual issues.
The situation is fluid, and developments are likely to unfold rapidly. As of now, Djamel Belmadi remains in a position of influence, holding out for a resolution that satisfies his demands. The Algerian football community eagerly awaits further updates to understand how the Federation and Belmadi will navigate this unexpected storm.
In the midst of this turmoil, the broader implications for Algerian football’s future, including the potential impact on player morale and the national team’s performance in upcoming competitions, remain uncertain. As the story continues to evolve, it underscores the intricate dynamics that often accompany the world of football, where passion, pride, and financial considerations intersect in unexpected ways.