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Belmadi opens fire on refereeing and accuses Zambia of spying on his team

The Algerian coach lashed out at the referee of his side's game against Zambia in AFCON qualifiers claiming that he is the one who decided the game's result

Belmadi opens fire on refereeing and accuses Zambia of spying on his team
ANNEGRET HILSE AFP

Algerian national team head coach Djamel Belmadi launched a war on referee Mohamed Odello from Comoros who was in charge of Algeria's fixture against Zambia in the fifth round of AFCON qualifiers on Thursday noting that he is not qualified enough to be assigned to such a big game.

The AFCON title holders failed to claim a victory over Zambia at Heroes Stadium in Lusaka and settled for a 3-3 draw with the hosts that saw Algerians guarantee their participation in the upcoming AFCON edition in Cameroon next January along with Zimbabwe who lie second of the group.

Despite qualification, Belmadi harshly criticized the refereeing of the game when spoke to "Echorouk" noting that Mohamed Odello takes all the blame for any unfortunate events that happened during the face-off.

"It's irrational to assign a game for a team battling for a qualifying spot to such an unknown referee," Belmadi said.

Belmadi accuses Zambian Federation of espionage

Belmadi also claimed that the Zambian Federation have sent spies to watch the training sessions of his team before the game which is completely against sportsmanship. He added that his players can't be blamed for the result as all these circumstances were beyond them.

Odello awarded Zambia two controversial penalty kicks in the game, but that wasn't enough for them to maintain their qualification chances as both Algeria and Zimbabwe snatched the two qualifying spots of group H.