Algerian football.. Its appearance is a round witch, but its interior is the vanguard of the revolution against France

When Algeria is mentioned, one and a half million martyrs come to mind, and millions more wounded, exiled and displaced, and 132 years of injustice, oppression and victims, and before our eyes appeared the Museum of Skulls in the capital of light and perfume. and freedom, Paris.

And like other nations on earth, Algerians still love life, cling to the gifts of hope, love football as others love it, and dominate the green rectangle of their glory as the greatest glory. We have a story about Algerian football.

The game of the occupier.. The passion of the round witch takes hearts away

The French occupation of Algeria lasted 132 years, and its most prominent policy was impoverishment, displacement and market monopolization. In return, it provided a comfortable life and luxury to French and European settlers, whose number reached about one million settlers at the end of the 19th century. The main purpose was the elimination Algerian national identity.

The occupiers came with their own cultures and associations, including sports and football, and these difficult circumstances did not prevent Algerians from falling in love with football, so they started playing the game from an early age, although this practice did not take away the form of regular football, but the passion that they demonstrated by the Algerians, it came to an early stage.

It was just a small ball in the paths of Algeria, and it became a strong team that resists the occupation

The story began at the end of the 19th century in the Algerian districts, and the natives, following the example of the occupiers, made their own balls from simple things, and there was no competition, it was just fun and entertainment. smooth, while foreigners are on official, paved playing fields and regular leather balls.

The game spread in the country and the establishment of Algerian clubs and the establishment of stadiums began at the beginning of the twentieth century. The game became famous in Algeria and North Africa, but the establishment of Algerian Muslim clubs was faced with obstacles set by the occupier, because he was afraid that the Algerians would gather around it and produce symbols that call for liberation and independence.

Chlef Club.. Athletic fight blessed by scientists and revolutionaries

The occupiers tried to Frenchize all aspects of life in Algeria, including sports, they monopolized the country’s opportunities, deprived its natives of everything, even innocent pleasures, limited their places to play and prevented them from obtaining documents. necessary to establish any gathering that unites the Algerian people.

But the Algerians did not give up, they wanted to prove that Algeria belonged to their people, so a group of young people “Chlef” founded the Chlef Association in 1947, and it stood out for its opposition to the occupation in its region, and its people were saturated with patriotism, so that the sheikhs Associations of Muslim scholars – including Ibn Badis and Al-Arabi Al-Tepsi – visited Chlef and met with its youth.

To motivate the youth, sheikhs of the Association of Muslim Scholars, such as Ibn Badis and Al-Arabi Al-Tepsi, visited the Chlef Club.

Also, the founder of the National Liberation Front, Mohamed Boumzrag, was from Chlef, so there is a long history of struggle in this area, and the occupiers considered it a center for gathering young people to oppose the occupation.

There was a stadium that was used by occupiers and foreigners, and the members of the Chlef Association were prevented from using it and playing on it, so a local resident donated an agricultural field for Chlef youth to play sports, and this stadium is still standing and they call it “the farm”.

The circumvention of the occupation laws and their mistreatment was not exclusive to the Chlef Association. This has been the case of all Algerian youth in various parts of the country, while the occupation authorities do not fail to propose new means and methods of intransigence and oppression whenever there is a sign of hope that the Algerians will be able to organize and establish their own clubs and associations, not to mention playing in occupation competitions with their Arabic and Algerian national names and slogans.

“Star of Constantine” .. the fire of independence that burns under the guise of sport

Although before that date, i.e. before 1947, there were several attempts by Algerian youth to establish their own associations, the occupation always set measures and obstacles that prevented Algerians from their liberation goals. Sometimes it obliged them to include a number of foreign players, or tried to integrate local associations into one big one and mix it with foreign elements.

In 1898, in the city of Constantine, on the ruins of the Islamic Society of Constantinople, the Constantinople Sports Club “Star of Constantine” was founded, which was founded precisely to resist the French occupation, and that was enough for the occupying authorities to declare war on the club and its youth from the first moment, and the club was closed and changed its name several times.

Constantine Sports Club was the first club founded in the mountain town in 1898 to oppose the clubs of the French occupation

The club remained persistent in representing the Algerians against the two clubs that represented the French occupation, the first of which was the “Constantine Sports Club” founded by the French feudal lords and supported by the occupation authorities, and the second was the “Constantine Sports Association Club” whose membership was accepted only Europeans.

Constantine is considered a city of culture and science, has a political thought ahead of other regions, and has a big role in giving the starting signal to a large gathering of young people, through several associations and small clubs that enable the establishment of basic foundations for a political sports movement, through the establishment of a sports club for Muslims.

The colors of the club consisted of green, which is the emblem of Islam, and black, the emblem of mourning for the occupation of Algeria. Indeed, the name “Constantine’s Star” had a political connotation, because it was taken from the “North African Star”, which is a political liberation movement present in various countries of the Maghreb, and contributed to the education of young Constantine for the independence of Algeria under the auspices of sports.

“This is the garden of Arab princes.” The inspiration of the club, which is dedicated to the birth of the prophet

In Algeria, things were not far from what was happening in Constantine, and perhaps more difficult. The capital is full of French clubs, and the hand of brute force is strong, ready to repress any movement of Algerian youth that goes beyond the narrow limits which the occupying authorities have placed on Algerian life in general.

According to the testimony of Abd al-Rahman Aouf, “the founder of Algerian Mouloudia” before his death, the idea came to him while watching a youth match between the neighborhoods, when he heard an Algerian soldier say: “This is the garden of the Arab princes”, mocking the stadium where the boys play, mockingly comparing it to the “Princes’ Garden” stadium. In Paris.

On the anniversary of the birth of the noble prophet, the Mouloudia Club was founded in the capital of Algeria in 1921 under the eyes of the French occupation.

It was at that moment that Abd al-Rahman Azza al-Arabi and his self-respect overcame him, and he thought about founding a special sports club for the youth of Algeria, so he met with his comrades in 1921 and presented the idea to them, which was not then was easy, 18 years does not qualify him to ask for the establishment of a club.

Abd al-Rahman was forced to forge documents, pretending to be his aunt’s husband, and he was accepted through the mediation of Algerians who worked in the French League, and he also used another trick by including the French in the list of founders, because the occupier does not like to give permission to the constituent body that all its Muslim members, and then those French were sympathizers of the Algerian cause.

Even the name “MC” came from the coincidence of the day the club was approved with the anniversary of the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. As for the colors, he chose green, which symbolizes the coming hope, and red, which symbolizes resistance and sacrifice. Then this club contributed to the founding of another group of teams, including MC Al-Saeed. And MC Bejaia, and other teams followed this name, which symbolizes the birth of the Prophet.

Mouloudia’s matches against French teams were more political than sporting, as chants, patriotic slogans and a spirit of challenge thrived on the scene, and it is worth noting that the club sacrificed a number of martyrs during the liberation war, some of them players.

The Algerian Football Federation.. the height of independence

As for the Algerian Football Association, it saw the light only after liberation and independence, but attempts did not stop during the first half of the twentieth century to form an Algerian regional association to manage the affairs of Algerian football, despite the restrictions of the French occupier and the attempt to force Algerians to play under with the flag of the French Football Federation.

The French league included teams in the first division that were exclusive to French and European teams, while Algerian clubs were placed in the other lower divisions, and if an Algerian team happened to reach the first division, the occupiers invented various accusations about how would receive the punishment of relegation to lower classes.

After retiring from French clubs in 1958, the football champions founded the Liberation Front team, which later became the Algerian national team.

The Algerian struggle continued between hit and run until the liberation war, and Algerian sport continued to represent a lever of resistance, which the Algerian youth invested to raise the spirit of challenge and self-assertion, and the language of their condition says the occupier: We will pass after you from all the free gates, and if you close one door for us, we will open another.

As for the cup tournament, it was not as important as the league, because it was organized smoothly, by the method of direct elimination by knockout, and the first Algerian team to win the cup was “ES Setif” at the expense of “Ittihad from Algeria.”

The struggle of these clubs culminated in the emergence of the National Liberation Front team after the outbreak of the liberation war, which represented the Algerian people who until then had failed to form a team that would represent Algeria among all those clubs that had suffered under the occupation oppression, and this national team represented Algeria all until independence, followed by sports independence at all levels.

After independence, the Algerian Football Association was founded, after which the first national football team to represent independent Algeria was born. To understand the role of football in the struggle to convey the voice of the Algerian people to the world, it is enough to recall the players Rachid Makhloufi and Zitouni who refused to represent the French national team at the World Cup in Sweden in 1958, and instead joined the National Liberation Front team.

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