Last Updated: Wed Nov 03, 2010 13:06 pm (KSA) 10:06 am (GMT)

Algeria enters World Cup for first time since 1986

Algeria will be the only Arab nation to play in the World Cup 2010
Algeria will be the only Arab nation to play in the World Cup 2010

Algeria became the only Arab team to qualify for the 2010 World Cup after a 1-0 win over Egypt in the qualifying play-off match in Sudan, where security was tight as thousands of fans packed the stadium to watch the tense match between the two teams that have a long history of football rivalry.

The game kicked off to a rough start with a series of fouls but Algerian striker Antar Yahia managed to knock a goal in, minutes before half-time, much to the delight of the thousands of Algerian fans, who filled the stadium in with loud cheers.

Egypt's Amr Zaki L challenges Algeria's Antar Yahia R

Algerian fans across the world exploded with joy as the final whistle sounded in Khartoum to send the north African country to its first football World Cup since 1986.

Algeria will now head to the World Cup in the summer of 2010 in South Africa for the first time in 23 years after shattering 80 million Egyptian's dreams of qualifying.

Sudanese authorities deployed 15,000 police to segregate rival fans in a bid to prevent clashes before, during or after the match, which is the final showdown following an inconclusive playoff in Cairo last Saturday.

The Cairo game was preceded by violence, with Egyptian supporters stoning the Algeria squad's bus as it made its way to the team hotel on Thursday, injuring three players.

Away fans were also hurt after Saturday's match, prompting revenge attacks on Egyptian companies based in Algeria.

Israeli "plan"

 They took me and interrogated me right after the game on Saturday evening. The interrogation lasted till Sunday afternoon 
Israeli reporter

Meanwhile in other Egypt and Algeria football news, Hussein al-Abra, a Palestinian with an Israeli passport, was accused of trying to incite hatred between fans from the rival teams by posing as an Algerian fan and coaxing Algerians to attack Egyptians.

The Egyptian press accused Abra, who posted pictures of him with Algerian fans and moving around Cairo wrapped in the Algerian flag, of instigating and filming clashes to broadcast them on Israeli television.

Abra was also accused of sending fabricated pictures of dead Algerian fans from last Saturday’s game.

Abra told Israel’s leading daily Yediot Ahronot that he was arrested and held for almost 24 hours in Egypt as he was trying to take pictures of clashes between rival fans.

Meanwhile Mohamed Abboud, the Israeli affairs correspondent at the Egyptian daily al-Masry al-Youm, blamed the pictures of alleged dead Algerian fans for "causing outrage among Algerians and inciting them to attack Egyptian companies and targeting the Egyptian community in Algeria.”

The Israeli journalist on the left poses as an Algerian fan

Ibrahim Hegazi, sports journalist and host of the Daerat al-Doa, or Circle of Light, show which interviewed Abboud over the phone said Abra's actions unraveled a plan by Israel to incite sedition between the two Arab countries.

Israeli media slammed Egypt for deporting Abra, who works for many Hebrew-speaking Israeli newspapers as well as one Arabic-speaking newspaper called Panorama.

(With Agencies & translation from Arabic by Sonia Farid)

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