Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi revealed the reason for excluding Nice French striker Andy Delors from the list of African champions in the two matches against Niger in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
Algeria leads the first group standings in the qualifiers with 4 points, equal to Burkina Faso, while Niger is third with 3 points.
Belmadi said at the press conference, in statements carried by the newspaper:SunriseThe Algerian: “A month ago, I received information that Andy Delors, joining the Nice club, signed a clause stipulating not to play with the national team in the African Nations Cup in Cameroon.”
He added, “After I received the information, I preferred to wait… A few days ago, I received a text message from Delors, who assured me that he wanted success with his new club, and that he wanted to suspend his participation with the national team for a year, and not participate in the upcoming African Nations Cup.”
Belmadi added in the same context: “The text message to the player Delors confirmed to me the information that I had a month ago, and I do not have to accept the player in the national team.”
And he added, “I think that things like this are not reported by text message, and it would have been better for him to tell the public.”
And he concluded, “A great uproar was raised about not calling Delor, without knowing the real reasons, and I say to those who said that I was a despicable coach, that the player had many opportunities with the national team when he was ready to play.”
Delors, 29, joined Nice this summer from Montpellier for 10 million euros.
Since the beginning of the season, the Algerian has scored 4 goals and assisted 2 in 8 matches in the French league.
In 10 international matches, Delors scored only two goals, and the Algerian striker won the 2019 African Cup of Nations with the Desert Foxes.