GAMBIA has accused Algerian soccer players calling themselves “terrorists” of threatening Gambian players at a World Cup match that they would blow up their hotel with a bomb on the return leg in Algiers.
Algeriaâ€™s Football Federation dismissed the accusations as “baseless”.
Gambia beat the North African side 1-0 on Saturday in the group qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup finals to be played in South Africa. The matches also serve as qualifiers for the African Nations Cup finals.
“We regret to inform you that during The Gambia/Algeria match played on June 14, 2008 at the Independence Stadium, several threats were made to our players by certain Algerian players who claimed to be `terroristsâ€™,” Gambia Football Association (GFA) secretary general Jammeh EK Bojang said in a letter to soccerâ€™s world body Fifa.
“Our player, Ousman Jallow, was confronted during the match by two Algerian players … who threatened to bomb our hotel in Algiers during the return match this coming weekend,” the letter said, published in a GFA statement.
The faxed letter was also copied to the Confederation of African Football.
“As a consequence, we are writing to inform you of these threats so that precautionary measures can be taken to safeguard the well-being of our
national delegation in Algeria,” it said.
In Algiers, Algerian Football Federation vice president Hamid Zefzaf, told Reuters: “Itâ€™s not true. Itâ€™s baseless. We havenâ€™t spoken to them in that way.”
Zefzaf, who headed the Algerian delegation to Banjul earlier this month, added: “They have already arrived in Algiers, and we have provided two buses for them, despite the fact that they didnâ€™t do the same thing for us.”
Algeria has been gripped by violence since a 1990s civil conflict that killed up to 200 000 people.
Recent years have seen repeated bomb attacks by Islamist militants who have called themselves the North African wing of Osama bin Ladenâ€™s al Qaeda network. â€” Reuters.