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Algeria suspends football in ‘solidarity’ with Palestinians

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The Algerian Football Federation (FAF) announced on Wednesday it had suspended all matches “until further notice” in support of the Palestinians.

“Expressing solidarity with the resilient, brotherly Palestinian people and out of respect for the memories of the venerable and glorious martyrs who fell victim to the savage Zionist aggressions in the Gaza Strip against the occupied Palestinian population, the FAF has decided to suspend all competitions and matches until further notice,” the federation said in a statement.

The decision followed a rocket strike on a hospital courtyard in Gaza which the Islamist group Hamas says killed hundreds of people.

Hamas has blamed Israel for the strike, which the governments of multiple Arab and Muslim countries have accepted, but Israel presented what it said was evidence that the explosion came from a malfunctioning Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket.

Traditionally a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause, Algeria announced on Sunday that it was willing to host “all the official and non-official matches of the Palestinian national football team as part of the preparations for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers and the 2027 Asian Cup and cover all the expenses related to these events”.

As a result, the World Cup qualifier between the Palestinian team and Australia on November 21 will take place on Algerian soil.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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