Algeria’s soccer team have pulled out of a friendly match with Ghana only because the latter has an Israeli head coach.
The Algerian team dropped out of the match to ensure that Avram Grant did not enter the country.
“The Algerian national team cancelled the friendly match with Ghana because it refused to host Ghana’s Israeli coach, Avraham (sic) Grant,” Algerian journalist Ayman Gada confirmed on Facebook.
Grant, the former Chelsea manager, has been in Ghana for the past two years. He had been the coach of the Israeli national team from 2002 to 2006.
Algeria last played Ghana in 2015’s Africa Cup of Nations, when Grant’s team won 1-0.
Algeria has long been a supporter of the Palestinian cause. The country used to have more than 100,000 Jews, but the vast majority of them left after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and during the country’s bloody war of independence against France.
Algeria has a mixed attitude toward Jews. In 2014 the country announced it would reopen synagogues that had been closed since the 1990s. However in 2015 Algerian Islamists called for attacks on Jews and later that year a video surfaced of Algerian troops marching to chants about murdering Jews.
Algeria came fourth on a list of the world’s most anti-Semitic countries.