Algeria cancels friendly to stop ‘bullish’ Jewish coach

  • 1-Milner Jack
“Cancel the match, we don’t like your coach!” This seems to be the attitude of Algeria who is due to play a friendly soccer match against Ghana in September.
by JACK MILNER | Jul 06, 2016

Ghana is coached by Israeli Avram Grant and the match, which was supposed to have taken place in Algeria, has been cancelled to prevent the head coach of Ghana's national team, Black Stars, from entering the Arab country.

Algeria has built up a new-found warm relationship with the Palestinian Territories and as a result it is being encouraged to make “anti-Israel moves”. Allowing the Israeli coach into the country to play in such a high-profile match has been suggested would reflect poorly on how important the Algerians’ relationship is with the Palestinians.

They claim the issue has nothing to do with soccer per se, but rather that in light of their strong solidarity with the Palestinians, the Algerian Soccer Association claims, Grant's arrival with the Ghanaians might “infuriate the Algerian population”.

This all came out when Ayman Gada, an Algerian journalist, wrote on his Facebook page on Monday: "The Algerian national team cancelled the friendly match with Ghana because it refused to host Ghana's Israeli coach, Avram Grant."

Positing that it would “upset the Algerian population” is no doubt to placate world football body Fifa which does not tolerate the mixing of sport and politics. However, it could set a precedent, one that Fifa would not like. Grant, 61, has been coaching Ghana's national team for the last two years.

In 2007 Grant was given the opportunity to coach London football jewel Chelsea, but was eventually fired by Russian-Jewish owner Roman Abramovich, because Grant failed to add any silverware to the club’s cabinet. Remarkably, Grant missed out on winning the European Cup when Chelsea captain John Terry missed a penalty kick; he slipped when he kicked. That was actually the boot that resulted in his being kicked out of Chelsea. 

Grant is a controversial character by nature and recently was called upon to apologise for making some “insensitive remarks”. The Israeli, however, says he does not need to say sorry for the “bulls***t” comments he made after the Black Stars’ win against Mozambique in the Accra Sports Stadium during the international football break.

Grant at the time asked Ghanaians to concentrate on football and not the bulls***t, a comment that appeared to have been made in reaction to calls from the media for the Israeli to stay in the country more instead of his many travels to Europe.

Grant said: “If this nation would concentrate on the football and not the bull***t, just the football because there is a lot of passion, we can reach a higher level. It is a long term target, but it’s achievable.”

The comments did not go down well with Ghanaians who slammed Grant for that remark. But Grant remains unrepentant, stating he has no reason to apologise. He claimed his comments were “taken negatively”.

He backed his point with the fact that he has said similar things in an interview with Sky TV and also speaks to his own children in the same manner.

The Black Stars coach speaking at UGBS last week Friday night said: “I didn’t apologise because I don’t need to apologise. I didn’t insult anybody and I don’t insult. If you follow my career, I never insult anybody. They took it out of context. I didn’t know that here it’s taken as an insult.

“If you see my interview with Sky, if you see how I speak to my children, we always say ‘cut the bullshit’.

“I don’t know why people took it negatively because that was not the intention.”

Grant was appointed manager of the Black Stars after coach Kwesi Appiah was relieved of his duties as the head of the senior national team. The Israeli led Ghana to the final of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations where the team was beaten on penalties by the eventual champions, Ivory Coast.


1 Comment

  1. 1 nat cheiman 06 Jul
    Avram is 100% correct. African soccer concentrates on Bulls**t & that is the reason for the poor quality & performance of African soccer.


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