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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: Algeria's Belmadi wary of discussing Bensebaini's theatrics

9:11 PM WAT 13/07/2019
Rami Bensebaini
The defender’s behaviour was a hot topic during Afcon, but his national team handler was careful not to criticise him
Djamel Belmadi is wary about discussing Ramy Bensebaini in public ahead of Sunday’s Afcon clash with Nigeria.

Bensebaini was the subject of discourse after Algeria defeated Cote d’Ivoire on penalties in the quarter-final played on Thursday. He held Wifried Zaha’s left arm and hit himself before falling dramatically to the ground.

Luckily, referee Bamlak Tessema missed the incident and Zaha luckily escaped censure having being cautioned earlier in the game.

During Friday’s pre-match conference, coach Belmadi was quizzed about the incident - and he stylishly played it down, claiming it was the wrong place to discuss it.

“I’m not really sure this is the place to talk about this,” he said, to ovation from Algerian journalists.

“If you try to put pressure on us, it is not the right way. There is a referee for that and VAR for that and it’s not your job to talk about this.”

Also, Nigeria’s Gernot Rohr was not interested in the incident as his attention is fixed on the semi-final showdown.

“We didn’t see that,” Rohr said.  “We watched the tactical situations of the match, we continue to analyse the tactical things.

“If you watch each match, you can find incidents which are not so nice but that doesn’t interest us.

“What we have to see is how they play and what we can do to beat this team.”