Algerian Independence and Équipe FLN

Discussion in 'Africa' started by Tommy Tainant, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. Tommy Tainant
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    Tommy Tainant Gold Member

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    Algeria’s Équipe FLN: the movement that used football to fight for freedom

    It wasn’t until 1945 that Algeria started to aggressively push for independence. All the while, France had been benefitting from the footballing skills of the population they refused to grant freedom to. It was something that had been going on for decades, throughout the colonisation, and just seemed to be the way things were.

    That was until Mohamed Boumezrag decided that his decade spent playing professionally in France paled in comparison to aiding his country’s push for freedom. Knowing the political potential within the sport itself, Boumezrag coordinated with the head of the Algerian National Liberation Front to begin recruiting for what would become known as the Liberation Front’s own national football team, or the Équipe FLN. There were numerous Algerian players scattered throughout France, two of whom, Mustapha Zitouni and Rachid Mekloufi, were even expected to start for Les Bleus at the 1958 World Cup.

    Football and politics are interwoven.Fascinating read.
     
  2. Dont Taz Me Bro
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    Dont Taz Me Bro USMB Mod Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    If you're not going to discuss the topic don't bother commenting
     
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  3. Olde Europe
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    Olde Europe Diamond Member

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    Nice story, and even if it somewhat overstates what that team accomplished, it's still nice: A genuine devotion to the creation of a nation, and the use of entirely peaceful means, that should be a lesson to be heeded by all.
     
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  4. Tommy Tainant
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    Tommy Tainant Gold Member

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    I know very little about the relationship between France and Algeria but this shines alight on it.
    I look at Zidane and wonder if his allegiances are financially driven ?
     
  5. Olde Europe
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    Olde Europe Diamond Member

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    Algeria was France's colony. The relationship was as brutal as you'd expect, and the war for independence even more so. That they'd even criminalize these soccer player's leaving France would be just the lowest sanction Algerians routinely faced, which included torture and summary executions. France's brutality, I'd say, is what mostly brought even fairly diverse groups of Algerians together - certainly more so than a "national" soccer team, in my estimate. Of course, while going up against a far more powerful, better equipped adversary, every bit of help is welcome.

    I know nothing about Zidane, other than he was a soccer player. So...
     

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