Algeria & Tunisia tussle over Bologna midfielder Saphir Taider

The 20-year-old is being hotly courted by the football federations of both North African countries where his mother and father hail from respectively

Bologna midfielder Saphir Taider was born in France to a Tunisian father and an Algerian mother. He holds passports from both countries but has never played for either national team.

Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic confirmed during the weekend that the 20-year-old had agreed to join the Fennec Foxes ahead of the Fifa World Cup qualifying. However, the Tunisian football body said on Monday Taider’s family had succeeded in persuading the player to don the colours of the Carthage Eagles.

Taider has won Under -18, Under -19 and Under-20 caps with France but has not been summoned to the senior outfit.

The local media in Tunisia say the former Grenoble player is facing pressure from his brother Nabil, who plays for Tunisia and Etoile du Sahel, to join him.

Reports in Algiers suggest Taider would opt for a team with a brighter future like Algeria.