The African champions land in France: Algeria meets Colombia, Tuesday (21:00) friendly in Lille, a match "home" symbolic for several reasons, which will be closely watched by the authorities because of overflows having took place this summer at CAN-2019.
More than ten years after the last meeting of the "Fennecs" on French soil, the popular success is already at the rendezvous: more than 40,000 spectators are expected at the stadium Pierre Mauroy, of which nearly a quarter will come from the Paris region.
The places of this friendly, where Algeria will be on the match sheet team "at home", were all sold out just days after the opening of the box office. Sign that the Algerian supporters of France were looking forward to seeing, in the flesh, Riyad Mahrez and the players who made them vibrate during the African epic.
The pre-game training at the Stade de Villeneuve-d'Ascq, a time forbidden to the public, was finally opened to the public a few tens of minutes in front of the overflowing passion of the hundred people who made the trip!
"Playing here does not happen every day, we know that there is a strong Algerian community in France.A lot of our players were born in France, were trained here. a pride to come to play in front of this public ", savored the coach of the" Fennecs "Djamel Belmadi, in a press conference.
- "We want this to be a party" -
The French authorities, who have in mind the France-Algeria match of 2001 and the incidents on the sidelines of the celebrations at the CAN-2019, however have provided for an important safety device, fearing that new excesses will spoil the party.
"The match is considered risky because of the exuberance of supporters on both sides that is fear of overflowing," said the northern prefecture in a message sent to AFP, without communicating "in detail" the "mobilized staff".
At the time of the CAN-2019, "in Lille, Roubaix and Maubeuge, the many joyous, jovial and family events of joy, had been disturbed by troublemakers who tried to spoil the party and to attack the forces of the order ", continues the prefecture of the North.
"We want this to be a party, a meeting between all the fans before, during, and after the match, we want them to have a good time, and to be exemplary at this level. a corner of my head, there is something that tells me that everything will happen properly, "said Djamel Belmadi.
- Algeria-France in 2020? -
This gala match on French soil, the first for Algeria since the meeting against Mali in Rouen in 2008, will be a test of several titles.
First on the sporting side: with a confrontation against Colombia, a leading opponent despite the absence of two stars Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez, the Algerian selection intends to gauge in anticipation of the playoffs for the World Cup-2022, his " next goal ".
And especially at the institutional level, while discussions continue between the French and Algerian federations on the possible organization of a match between the two nations in the fall of 2020. A meeting was held in Paris on Monday on this subject. but "no decision has been made".
"The two presidents have planned to evoke this perspective on the occasion of a visit of Christmas Graët in Algeria, at the invitation of the president of the Algerian federation, during the first quarter of 2020," said the two bodies in a joint statement.
"It's time to make this match" in Algeria, had already declared in September on Franceinfo Mr. Le Graët, fervent supporter of a meeting between the world champions and champions of Africa, while evoking "security affairs "and a necessary consultation with the Élysée on this subject.
Highly symbolic because of the history common to both countries, the only meeting France-Algeria took place in October 2001. The match was interrupted after the invasion of the field by Algerian fans while the score was 4-1 for France.
Born in Champigny-sur-Marne, Djamel Belmadi (43) took part in the match at the Stade de France in the Algerian jersey, scoring the only goal of the "Fennecs". First successful reunion in Lille?
© 2019 AFP