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SBD Global/August 26, 2014/International Football

Algerian Football League Suspends Play Following Player's Death

Algeria has "suspended football indefinitely following the death of Cameroonian player Albert Ebosse, who was hit by a stone thrown by fans," according to Ian Hughes of the BBC. The Algerian Football Federation (FAF) made the decision after a meeting on Sunday. Algerian authorities had "already ordered the indefinite closure of the 1st November 1954 stadium." That ruling "will now apply to all stadiums in the country." The FAF said in a statement it had postponed the league "in protest at the irresponsible actions of certain fanatics and hooligans who resort to violence in the stadiums which has reached an unacceptable level." An investigation into Ebosse's death, and a "deeper inquiry into football hooliganism in the country, has been ordered by the Algerian interior ministry" (BBC, 8/25). The AFP reported Ebosse's death "has sparked widespread revulsion in Algeria." The FAF said that it was "considering taking further action, including the expulsion of the club at fault 'from all competitions.'" Algerian daily El Watan suggested "this tragedy surprises nobody." It explained, "For years now violence has crept into the stadiums and spills over sometimes onto the streets, bringing with it a climate of fear and insecurity in our cities." Another daily, Liberte, suggested Saturday's tragic incident "could have happened in any Algerian stadium," as "violence is general and systematic." For psychiatrist Mahmoud Boudarène, Ebosse’s death under a "deluge of missiles" was "a collective murder" in a nation where violence "has become the norm" (AFP, 8/25).
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