Algeria suspend all football after player death

  • Football
  • Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria have suspended all football this weekend in memory of Albert Ebosse, the striker killed on Saturday after being struck by an object thrown from the crowd during a Ligue 1 match in the north African country.

The Algerian Football Federation said in a statement it was considering several punitive measures including expelling Ebosse’s club JS Kabylie from all competitions. It did not specify a time period.

The Cameroon forward was struck on the head by an object allegedly thrown from a section of his club's own fans as the players left the field at the end of a 2-1 defeat to USM Alger in Tizi Ouzou, a match in which he had scored his side's goal.

JS Kabylie confirmed in a statement posted on the club's website that he had passed away in hospital later on Saturday, though they did not give the exact cause of death.

The federation said the decision to cancel all matches this weekend was also to protest “the irresponsible action of fanatics and hooligans who perpetuate violence in stadiums which has reached unacceptable proportions”.

The federation and JS Kabylie said an immediate sum of $100,000 had been given to Ebosse’s family and the remainder of his contract would also be paid out.

The 24-year-old Ebosse was the leading scorer in the Algerian league in the 2013-14 season with 17 goals having played the previous season in Malaysia.

The world players' union FIFPro said the incident was a reflection on the poor management of football in Africa.

"In recent years, we have constantly had to denounce the flagrant lack of professionalism among African executives," said Stephane Burchkalter, general secretary of FIFPro's African division.

"On the one hand, they demand more and more of the players, in terms of investment. In plain terms, players have to be beyond reproach. If they make the slightest mistake, they are criticised and penalised.

"On the other hand, the executives are allowed to do as they wish, without the least professionalism. They can 'forget' to pay wages, or play with the lives of players by organising competitions without providing the most elementary safety precautions.

"If drastic measures are not taken to preserve the safety of footballers, in Algeria as well as in a great number of other African countries, other incidents are unfortunately to be feared.

"In terms of sport, Algeria showed what it was capable of during the last World Cup but that is not enough," he added, referring to Algeria's progress to the last 16 in Brazil.

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town,; additional reporting by Brian Homewood in Berne, editing by Justin Palmer and Pritha Sarkar)