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“Leave Vladimir Petkovic alone,”urges Algerian football community

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Since his appointment as head coach of the Algerian national football team, Swiss manager Vladimir Petkovic has found himself at the center of a media and administrative circus. Critics argue that the Algerian Football Federation (FAF) has led Petkovic into activities far removed from his primary responsibilities, undermining his ability to focus on his coaching duties.

Petkovic’s tenure began with a much-publicized tour of Algeria’s 16 professional Ligue 1 clubs, an exercise he later described as “a visit having nothing to do with technique,” aimed more at familiarizing him with the country.

This was followed by numerous public appearances, including visits to the Great Mosque of Algiers, museums, and Roman ruins, where he received gifts ranging from traditional burnouses to club jerseys.

These activities have sparked concerns about the Federation’s priorities and Petkovic’s ability to concentrate on his main task—preparing the national team.

In a particularly controversial move, the FAF organized a training session open to candidates for the CAF Pro License.

This unprecedented event saw over twenty technicians observing the national team’s practice on the eve of a crucial World Cup qualifying match.

Such a scenario would be unthinkable in countries with more established footballing traditions, where the focus remains firmly on match preparation.

The situation has been further complicated by the exclusion of Mouloudia of Algiers playmaker Youcef Belaïli from the squad, officially attributed to disciplinary issues.

The confusion was compounded when the new communications manager for the national team contradicted herself on live television regarding the reasons for Belaïli’s omission.

This inconsistency has only fueled speculation and discontent among fans and pundits alike.

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Adding to the circus, the FAF sent invitations to team captain Riyad Mahrez and top scorer Islam Slimani, among others, to watch the upcoming match against Guinea from the stands, despite their evident eagerness to play.

Strangely, Belaïli did not receive an invitation, raising questions about his perceived disciplinary status and the FAF’s handling of the situation.

In light of these events, many are calling for the FAF to allow Petkovic to focus on his coaching responsibilities without unnecessary distractions.

The national team’s performance and Petkovic’s future with Algeria depend on his ability to work effectively with the players, free from the meddling and mismanagement that have characterized his tenure so far.

The sentiment is clear: let Vladimir Petkovic do his job. The Algerian national team, a source of pride for millions, deserves a coach who can dedicate himself fully to achieving success on the field.

Whether Petkovic can steer the team to victory will ultimately depend on his ability to navigate these off-field challenges and deliver results where it matters most—on the pitch.

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Ibrahim Sannie

Ibrahim Sannie

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