Algerian star dedicates World Cup success to the Arab world, ‘especially to Palestine’

Moments after Algeria advanced to the knockout stage of the 2014 World Cup, attacking midfielder Sofiane Feghouli tweeted the following message:

The message can roughly be translated to, “Thankful to God that we forty million Algerians and millions of Arabs have advanced. We gift all of the Arabs with this win, especially the people of Palestine. Thank you.”

In other words, Feghouli dedicates the team’s successful run through the qualifying stages to the Arab world and, in particular, the people of Palestine.

This warm gesture comes from one of Algeria’s stars. His early goal in Algeria’s opening match against Belgium was the first time Algeria had scored in the World Cup in 28 years. Despite not scoring since then, his ability to set up scoring chances and to assist along the wings during crucial counter attacks helped push Algeria on to the next stage.

On June 26, after a late equalizer against Russia, Algeria clinched its spot in the round of 16, finishing second in Group H.

This will be the first time a North African team has advanced to the knockout stage since 1986. And with Nigeria finishing second in Group F, two African teams will play in the next round of World Cup action for the first time ever.

Excitingly enough, Algeria is set to face Germany on Monday, June 30, in a match that weighs heavily on the emotions of many football fans.

During the 1982 World Cup in Spain, Algeria kicked off its first-ever World Cup qualifying match against heavy favorites West Germany. After pulling a surprise upset against the Germans that earned them international recognition and support, they went on to lose to Austria and rebound with a close win over Chile. Algeria was tied for first place in its group.

Sadly, Algeria never advanced to the next stage. The final qualifying match of the group between West Germany and Austria, which happened the day after Algeria’s last qualifying match, had been fixed. After the Germans took an early lead in the tenth minute of the game, the two teams passed the ball without any purpose, having realized that a 1-0 scoreline in West Germany’s favor would advance both teams and send Algeria home.

Of course, football fans across the world protested and the Algerian national team petitioned FIFA to nullify the results. But the score stood. West Germany, whose impressive win-streak had been cut short by the Algerians, and Austria, who knew better than to doubt the skill and speed Algeria brought to the field, moved forward.

FIFA instituted a new rule to keep this kind of footballing crime from happening again. The final two qualification matches in each group have since been played simultaneously.

To those with ties to either side, to those who care about fair play and respect, and to those who just want to see a fiercely dedicated Algerian squad repeat what their countrymen accomplished thirty-two years ago, Monday’s match will certainly be an exhilarating one.

For now, just let Feghouli’s sentiments ring in your ears.

There are 11 comments

  1. Abou Hassan

    I’m Syrian and I am upset by all those arabs who consider Algeria as an Arab country. I have the utmost respect for Algeria and Algerians, and for the language they speak -which I find beautiful in some ways-, but let’s not be hypocritical, most Arabs from the Middle East don’t understand the Algerian dialect, which is for me an independant language, a mix of arabic, french and amazighi. I recall that Cheb Khaled made an appearance on Mahboub Al-‘Arab last year and that he was actually unable to talk with the jury. Let’s consider Algeria as part of the Maghrebi nation, not the Arab one. There’s nothing racist in saying such a thing, I’m an Arab nationalist but I don’t believe that it’s an honor to be an Arab. Algerians have suffered from 132 years of French colonisation, and have suffered from the Arabization policies after independance. I live in France, which has lots of Algerians living on its soil, and I’ve met many Algerians. I’ve noticed that almost every one of them suffers from an inferiority complex in front of us (Machreqi Arabs) and always tell me that of course your dialect (the Syrian one) is so magnificent while ours is so lousy, that we admire you and such things. Well I feel sorry for them because I find it horrible that a people contempts itself so much. This afternoon I watched French Tv and there was an Algerian fan saying that he was very happy that his national team won, because it shows that Algerians are not always bad, they can be brilliant some times. I mean, this level of self-contempt. They actually have an inferiority complex in front of the French and of Arabs. So I think that the best thing for them is to be independant from both worlds and to begin working on building a strong Maghrebi nation, with it’s own language, so that they can be proud of themselves. Kermalon, bas.

    1. lovepalestine

      Abou Hassan, they might not be arabs to your eyes, but at least they dedicate their victory to Palestine. Good day.

    2. Basta

      you are just upset that Algeria is neutral about the Syrian crisis. i am an Algerian whose lineage goes back to Qurysh and more particular, to the Khalifid Othman Ibn Affan. there are so many people (Millions) with a blood line that goes back to Qurysh not to mention Arabs. And i find your accent obnoxious since you cant spell words correctly like the word itha which you pronounce as iza. so tell your imaginary Algerian friends who have an inferiority complex to read more about Algeria and its history.

    3. Hacène

      What makes you think that Algerian feel inferior in front the Arabs and the Syrians? In Algeria, we are so sick of the Arabicisation policy that our government wants to enforce on the Imazighen / Berbers. We are so sick of being deprived from our culture and language.
      Algeria is a very proud nation.

    4. Nas

      Your comment is so stupid. It’s people like you that cause the Arab world to be divided. Instead you should be “upset” of the lack of support by Arab countries towards the Palestinians. Algerians are great people and I say this as a Palestinian.

    5. Soumayya

      I just saw this comment (way later) but i cant keep quiet. You’re deeply insulting us. I also think your dialects are pretty, but does that mean i feel inferior ? that i contempt myself ? stupidest thing i ever heard. I deeply love my language because its my roots, my culture, my identity, my people. Reality is that we are too much proud, and sometimes its exaggerated.
      No need to talk about french people lol ! i dont think you understand our relations, cause it’s CLEARLY not what you’re describing.

      Most foreign doctors and lawyers in France are algerians, not lebanese or syrians ; we’re clearly not “brilliant” only in football, machreqi arabs are not doing better than us. I am a medical student and i can tell you that the ones who succeed the most in medicine are algerians and moroccans. Its not our problem if some of you feel superior, go make some therapy to wash up your arrogance, but dont come saying such childish and hateful words like a 13 year-old.

      And by the way, like it or not, most of us are arabized. Not middle easterns but north african arabs, hope its not too difficult for you to understand ^^

  2. Tenere

    This is a slap in the face to the Amazigh people, because Algeria is not nor has it ever been an Arab county. Algeria is an African country which happens to have a population which has been forced to speak Arabic. Our culture has been repressed by a government who believes Arab culture is superior to our own, and sadly young men like this footballer feels more allegiance to Palestine, how far away, than he does to his own brothers and sisters suffering in Ghardia, in Kabyle, or even the Sahrawi?I must agree with the above comment, some, thankfully not all do suffer this deep self hatred. Of course the most successful Algerians like Zidane do not.

  3. Hacène

    I’m an Algerian Amazigh and really disappointed and angry at Feghoulli’s dedication as if Algeria is only Arab and as if Algeria is in the middle East.
    Stop insulting the real Africans and the Imazighen/Berbers who represent the majority of the players.

  4. Klte Hade

    I am an African and an Eritrean origin. I support any African team that represents the continent like almost all Africans around the world. I know most Algerians they disagree with Sofian Feghouli. It is very sad to hear this kind of comments from him while his ticket to Brazil was from the continent of Africa not from Asia (luck of intelligence). This is a wonder full continental sport it is not about color, religion or ethnic war.

  5. Hamidou Ouedraogo

    That’s why you are losing today. I am African and I am sick of you people mocking Africa thinking that you are better than us. Ur goalkeeper is black as me, you couldn’t find anyone in the whole middle east? Now go back to Africa and find your roots. Go Germany!!!!

  6. hman

    65% of algerians are arabs abou hassan; the inferiority complex you talk about will die out with the coming generations, its very natural because of a 130 years of being controlled by a foreign nation is not a joke, so usually it affects people; but the arabization is a step forward to a strong and prosperous country, it takes time & effort to replace such things but they do eventually get replaced.

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