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Algeria's Riyad Mahrez to Sit Out of FIFA Friendly Matches by Personal Request

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Prince Jean

Mar 19, 2024

FIFA Friendlies

Riyad Mahrez to Miss Algeria's Upcoming Friendlies in FIFA Series. @coupedafriiquedesnations

Vladimir Petkovic, the newly appointed head coach of the Algerian national football team, has confirmed that star player Riyad Mahrez has voluntarily opted out of the squad for the forthcoming FIFA Series friendly matches. Citing a lack of readiness and the requisite energy to fulfill his influential role, Mahrez personally reached out to Petkovic to convey his decision.

Algeria is on a mission to regain the confidence of its supporters after their unexpected early exit from the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), where they concluded the tournament at the bottom of their group. The national team, colloquially known as the Desert Foxes, is set to participate in a mini-tournament on home soil, featuring a diverse lineup of teams from various football confederations.

The lineup for this international foray includes Algeria from the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Bolivia from the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL), Andorra from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), and South Africa, also a member of CAF.

The Desert Foxes' schedule includes a match against Bolivia on the 22nd of March and another against South Africa on the 26th of March, with both fixtures taking place at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers.

In a notable squad change, Islam Slimani, Algeria's top goalscorer, will also miss out on the squad for the first time in over a decade. Conversely, Said Benrahma, who did not participate in AFCON 2023, has been summoned back to the team.

Algeria has initiated their campaign for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers on a positive note, recording victories against both Somalia and Mozambique, signaling a strong start in their quest for qualification.

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