Lyon player Hossam Aouar’s decision to choose to play for Algeria, his country of origin, after he had previously played for the French national team, sparked widespread controversy among those who praised the move as a personal freedom, while others suggested that Aouar knows in advance that he is outside the accounts of coach Didier Deschamps.
He was already an old awar24years that he played one match with the French national team against Ukraine in 20 October 2020. And that match was friendly, so FIFA law allows him to change his sports nationality.
Explaining his decision, Aouar said in a statement to the Algerian Ittihad website, “You know that a large part of me bears the French identity because I was born and grew up here, but I am also of Algerian origin and my upbringing at home was Algerian,” stressing that “his relationship with Algeria is very strong and that he spends every year of his vacation there with his family”.
He added, “The arrangements took place during the summer vacation in Algeria, so the president of the federation called me, who expressed to me the possibility of joining the national team.”
He continued, “In fact, I had this idea for a long time, but I did not want the request to come from me so as not to give the image that I was being exploited. When the coach and the president extended their hands to me, I said, ‘This is my destiny, and it is a second opportunity that I should not miss.'”
On the other hand, the player was subjected to criticism that amounted to “racist abuse” at times, the last of which was what he published on his account on a social networking site, as he documented comments and his connection, which included insults such as “You dirty Arab”, “Go back to Algeria, your country” and “Leave Lyon”. France immediately.
For its part, the French football club Lyon, where Aouar plays, condemned what it described as “racist comments.”
The club added, commenting, in a brief statement, which it posted on its Twitter page, “Lyon Club offers its full support to Houssem Aouar and all other people who are victims of racism and discriminatory acts because of their origins and their choices in life,” adding that it “condemns hatred.”
Aouar had said that he “felt remorse for choosing to play in the French national team. It was not a good or appropriate choice for me.”
He stated that his absence from the starting line-up for Lyon club since the beginning of the season was “outside his will,” especially since he played almost all matches last season: “Since the arrival of coach Laurent Blanc, he integrated me directly into the starting line-up, but unfortunately I had some problems (injury) and I am now recovering.” I am gradually fit to return to the club.”
After this decision, it is expected that Houssem Aouar will be called up to the Algerian national team to compete in the two matches of the upcoming African Cup of Nations qualifiers in Ivory Coast in 2018. 2023in front of Niger back on 23 March in Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algeria, and back in Tunisia on 27 from the same month.