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a bitter-tasting football World Cup

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Ishak Bouhini has not missed a match of the 2022 World Cup so far. But this 26-year-old football fan preferred to ignore Cameroon’s entry into the running, held in check by Switzerland (1- 0) Thursday, November 24. “It’s too difficult to see them play and to think that it should have been us instead”confides this receptionist in a large hotel in Oran.

Eight months after the disappointment of Algeria against the Cameroonian selection in the second leg of the qualifying play-offs for the 2022 World Cup, Fennecs supporters still cannot digest this defeat which deprives them of participation in a World Cup for the second time in a row – after failing to qualify for the Russian World Cup in 2018. “We were ten seconds from the World Cup. We can’t get that out of our headssays Mourad Bouakkaz, a 42-year-old butcher. We follow the competition, but the heart is not really there. »

The Algerian national team had lost its ticket for the World Cup to the Indomitable Lions in March, after a meeting as laborious as it was surprising. After winning the first leg of the play-offs on Cameroonian soil (1-0), the selection coached by Djamel Belmadi lost in front of their public, on the lawn of the Mustapha-Tchaker stadium in Blida, after an extension. , conceding a goal in the dying seconds of the game.

In the round of 16 in 2014

Ibrahim Abderrahmane, who has not yet recovered from this cruel “emotional lift”replays the elimination film over and over again. “Before this match, we were hyperconfident, we had even marched. We thought that the hardest part had been done by beating them at home and that at home we would pass easily. Everything we had planned fell through. We still need time to overcome this shock”breathes the 29-year-old electrician, scrolling through videos of Moroccan and Tunisian supporters present in Qatar on his phone.

The disillusionment of Algerian supporters is equal to the great ambitions nurtured since their team’s triumph at the African Cup of Nations (CAN) in 2019. For three years, Djamel Belmadi’s men have chained great performances, going as far as to establish a historic 35-game unbeaten streak. Very close to the world record of 37 consecutive meetings without defeat, held by Italy.

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