Algerian coach Djamel Belmadi could face CAF sanctions over his recent comments about Gambian referee Papa Gassama. Ever since their elimination from the World Cup play-offs to Cameroon, Algerian football authorities and media have been peddling unfounded theories about Gassama’s handling of the match. No one but the Algerian football authorities found fault with the referee who won the African best referee award three times in a row.
But according to respected media Ade Divine, the Algerian coach’s recent words regarding Gassama have not gone unnoticed and many international journalists, notably Cherif Sadio, have accused him of inciting violence. Others have termed his words xenophobic.
During a controversial media outing Sunday, Coach Belmadi said:
“I met him (Gassama) at the airport in Turkey. I could not stay indifferent seeing him sit comfortably on a sofa taking café and mille-feuille. I had to empty my bag and tell him who he is. I’m not saying we kill him but we cannot leave him in peace.”
CAF has very strict laws regarding violence of any sort, and Algerian tabloid “La Gazette du Fennec” now fears the coach may be sanctioned.