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Africa Cup of Nations

Algeria midfielder Belkebla dropped from AFCON squad after exposing backside on live stream

3:43 PM GMT 12/06/2019
Haris Belkebla Brest 2019
The incident in question took place during a Twitch stream, prompting manager Djamel Belmadi to remove the Brest player from the squad

Algeria midfielder Haris Belkebla has been dropped from the country's African Cup of Nations squad after exposing his backside during a live stream.

Video footage of Belkebla recently appeared on social media showing him exposing himself on Twitch while team-mate Alexandre Oukidja played Fortnite.

The incident led to Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi dropping the midfielder from the squad, with USM Alger midfielder Mohamed Benkhemassa expected to serve as his replacement.

"The national team coach Djamel Belmadi has decided to exclude Algeria midfielder Haris Belkebla from the Africa Cup of Nations training camp," the Algerian Football Federation said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The coach's decision was to maintain discipline within the group, which he considers paramount."

In the wake of his expulsion, Belkabla apologised to his team-mates and the Algerian people as preparations for the African Cup of Nations continue.

“I want to apologise to the Algerian people. I did not think I was live on social media. However my gesture was inappropriate," he said.

"I made a mistake and I paid the price. It breaks my heart. I hope Algeria win AFCON, but the dream stops here for me.”

The 25-year-old midfielder has not yet earned a cap for Algeria, but had featured for the country as a youth international up to the U-23 level.

Belkebla made 36 total appearances for Brest this season in France's Ligue 2, scoring one goal as the club finished second in the league to earn promotion to Ligue 1.

The African Cup of Nations is set to kick off on June 21, with Algeria in Group C with Senegal, Kenya and Tanzania.

Algeria will open the tournament, which is set to be held in Egypt, on June 23 against Kenya before facing group favourites Senegal four days later.

They'll wrap up the group stage against Tanzania on July 1.

Algeria have won the competition on one occasion, triumphing in the 1990 edition, with their most recent tournament ending in a group stage elimination.

The team has failed to make it out of the group in two of the last three tournaments, but will look for a stronger showing behind stars like Riyad Mahrez, Islam Slimani, Yacine Brahimi and Sofiane Feghouli this summer.