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Mahrez and Slimani at the Marrakech Laughter Festival

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Marrakech is certainly the favorite destination of Algerian internationals for their holidays. Many of them are in this low season in this tourist city in southern Morocco.

After Ryad Mahrez, Saïd Benrahma and Rachid Ghezzal who went there at the end of May, it is announced that the historic Greens top scorer, Islam Slimani, has also visited the ocher city.

And like every common topic in Algeria and Morocco, the controversy is at the rendezvous, between those who see it as a private choice of players to be respected and those who try to give these away games meanings they don’t have.

At the end of May, when Algeria were preparing to play two official matches against Uganda and Tanzania in the CAN-2023 qualifiers, the Algerian Football Association (FAF) announced that Ryad Mahrez is injured and therefore will not participate in both matches. The FAF had ensured that it had received a medical report from the player’s club, Manchester City.

But the case will soon take on another dimension following the publication on social media of the photos of the captain of the Greens, on vacation in Marrakech. Despite coach Djamel Belmadi’s denials, some have gone so far as to speculate on the player’s decision to end his international career.

Dispute

Beyond the sporting aspect, and given the state of political relations between Algeria and Morocco, a certain press of this country was very satisfied with the presence in the territory of the world star Ryad Mahrez.

Especially since the Manchester City player wasn’t the only Algerian international to be in Marrakech at the time. There were also Rachid Ghezzal and Saïd Benrahma.

Algeria played and won its two official matches in the CAN 2023 qualifiers and a friendly against Iran without its captain and game master, and history is forgotten.

But it wasn’t long before another major national team player joined Mahrez in Marrakech. This is Islam Slimani, top scorer in the history of the Greens.

Slimani participated in the Marrakech Laughter Festival. His presence, alongside Mahrez, did not go unnoticed. The two Algerians were in high demand by their Moroccan admirers for photos. Of course, the videos of the presence of the two actors at the Moroccan festival are the joy of social media and obviously of the followers of the controversy.

Slimani does not dried of the national team, but some criticize him for his presence at a festival organized by Djamel Debbouze.

In full turmoil for the Algeria-Cameroon match that closed the doors of the 2022 World Cup to the Greens, the Franco-Moroccan comedian was accused by a former Algerian footballer of having acted as an intermediary between the Cameroonians and the Gambian referee Bakary Gassama to settle the game at the expense of Algeria.

The accusation was made without the slightest evidence or clue, but some do not hesitate to mention it after the presence of Mahrez and Slimani at the event organized by Djamel Debbouze for ten years.

Fortunately, on social networks there are also many who ask players to live their private life as they see fit and not to give the presence of the Algerian national teams in Morocco a meaning that does not have.

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