The Malians are a disappointed lot. The shameful draw between Angola, the host country, and Algeria, qualified for the World Cup, has eliminated them despite a fine win against Malawi. The Malian Football Federation has launched a complaint with the CAF.
What saw Algeria and Angola through to the quarter-final, Monday, was a non-match. While that match was being played, Mali was thrashing Malawi (3-1). All three points were seemingly achieved for nothing. The vapid goalless draw between the host nation and the Fennecs was a travesty of football, but to suggest that the match was fixed...
Nonetheless, this seems to be the understanding of the football federation of Mali (FMF). The FMF has launched an official complaint with the Confederation of African Football (CAF), accusing Angola and Algeria to have deliberately played a "total non-match”, which eliminated the Eagles from the CAN-2010 despite their ultimate victory.
"We vehemently protest against the conduct of the Algerian and Angolan teams”, wrote the Secretary General of the FMF, Boubacar Thiam. Indeed, the second half of the match was a total non-match, with the two teams consistently refusing play any ball at all, just to keep the scoreline at zero. A selfish but tactical way of qualifying for the quarter-final.
"This attitude is unsportsmanlike, unethical and contrary to the fair play advocated by FIFA and CAF, and must be strongly condemned. It does not honor African soccer or soccer, as it were, in any way. We hope that the CAF will take the appropriate disciplinary action," he pleaded.
Mali, in 3rd place with four points, has been overtaken by Angola with 5 points, and Algeria, with who they share the same number of points, but who beat them in the second game (1 -0).
Algeria qualifies by virtue of a single point, which according to the game’s regulation is given to the team with the most goals in case of a tie between two teams.
In his complaint, Mr. Thiam reminded the CAF secretary general of the association’s decision in 2001 when Cameroon and Egypt had played a similar game during the Junior CAN, after which "the two teams had been given zero point".
According to Rabah Saadane, Fennec coach: "There was no agreement with Angola. We could never do anything like that. Algeria was the victim of a match fixing between Austria and Germany in 1982 when the two teams agreed to eliminate us. I can assure you that Algeria and Angola have not done that. None of us would take risks in this match. It was a tactical game and I’m glad that we have qualified for the next round."