Algerian soccer team dedicate FIFA Arab Cup 2021 title to Palestine
The Algerian national soccer team have dedicated their championship title at the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 to Palestine and particularly the people of besieged Gaza Strip.
Algeria’s national team – known as the “Desert Warriors” - on Saturday managed to defeat Tunisia’s national team 2-0 at the end of the extra time in the final match of the tournament at the al-Bayt Stadium in the northern Qatari city of Al Khor in front of a crowd of more than 60,000 spectators.
Majid Bougherra, the head coach of the Algerian team, dedicated the title to “Palestinian people and our compatriots in Gaza,” after his team’s landmark victory sparked wild celebrations in the North African nation and among the Algerian diaspora across the globe.
Many Algerian and Tunisian fans also brought the flag of Palestine to the stadium along with their own national flags, voicing their support for the Palestinian cause and their strong disapproval of the occupying entity of Israel, which has placed a tight all-out blockade against the impoverished Gaza Strip for the past 14 years.
This was the first time that Algeria’s national football team managed to secure the championship title at the FIFA Arab Cup.
Also last week after beating Morocco, the Algerian players showed their long-established solidarity with the Palestinian cause by raising Palestinian flags.
The game came amid growing political tensions between the two neighbors, especially following Morocco’s controversial normalization with Israel last year, which Algeria has been consistently opposed to.
While some Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, have started much-condemned normalization of ties with the Israeli regime, Palestinians have strongly denounced the moves as a “stab” in their back.
As the Israeli regime strives to “sportswash” its flagrant human rights violations and its appalling crimes against Palestinians through using its presence in international sports and cultural events, such dedication can raise further awareness about Israel’s decades-long atrocities against Palestinians and its occupation of their territories, say observers.