Algerian International Accused of Attempted Murder in France

Algerian International Accused of Attempted Murder in France
Credit: Icon Sport

While African football superstars like Victor Osimhen are making headlines in Europe for exploits on the pitch that have translated to fan love, another is making headlines for criminal charges. An unnamed Algeria national football team player has been arrested and charged with attempted murder after a domestic incident.

French website Le Parisien (via Afrik Foot) broke the news after the player was arrested on Sunday. The striker has only been identified as a player who was born and trained in France and played for Paris Saint-Germain and a few other French clubs before ending up in the Qatar league.

Sibling fight gone wrong causes player to land in police custody

The identity of the Algerian player, who plays for Qatar Stars League club Al-Gharafa SC, a club that has come up against Nigeria national football team players like Austin “Jay Jay” Okocha, has been kept under wraps.

However, a look at the club’s squad composition on Transfermarkt shows that any of the four Algerians who represent the club could be the player in question. The report further states that the player is 31 years old and the other hints given by the report state that the player played with Olympique Lyonnais as well as with clubs in Italy and Germany, before moving to Qatar with Al-Gharafa SC. These limit the options to one player, Ishak Belfodil, who is a centre-forward for the side.

The player was on holiday with his family when he got into a heated argument with his 15-year-old sister which turned ugly. He attempted to strangle the teenager and when she was examined after his arrest on Sunday at his parents’ home in Maurepas, France, his hand prints were visible on her neck.

It is also understood by Goalball Live that the player’s sister did not press any charges but the evidence of physical violence led the police to charge him with attempted murder and remand him in custody. He is currently being questioned by investigators to determine the extent to which the incident would be handled.

The player will miss the two remaining matches of the Qatar Stars League season. He could also be out of a job if the incident is determined to be a serious one and not chalked down to a family misunderstanding.

This is the only case of a misdemeanour involving an African player in a year when the likes of Kelechi Iheanacho and Gift Orban are flourishing.

Super Eagles players who have been involved in crimes

Nigeria is considered one of the best footballing nations form Africa because the talent which the national team, the Super Eagles, have produced, is immense.

The three-time AFCON winners have been a bastion of football purity and culture in Africa for long but there have been some national team players and prospects who have fallen on the wrong side of the law.

Okafor Emmanuel, an ex-NPFL player with Enugu Rangers, is the most recent case. The former midfielder was arrested by the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for possession of cocaine in October 2022. He was jailed for five years.

Former PSG man and 1998 FIFA World Cup squad member with the Super Eagles, Godwin Okpara was accused and convicted of raping his 13-year-old adopted daughter while playing for the French giants and sentenced to prison in 2007 for 13 years.

Etim Esin, once dubbed the Nigerian Maradona back in the 1980s, was also accused of rape by his 16-year-old Belgian girlfriend while he played in the country. However, the efforts of the likes of Taiwo Awoniyi, Terem Moffi et all have seen the AFCON 2023 hopefuls get back in a positive light and the national team’s fans will hope it remains the same.

This article was most recently revised and updated 12 months ago

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