Algerian national team coach Rabah Saadane has told Al Heddaf that although he wanted to include Abelmalek Ziaya in his provisional squad list for the 2010 World Cup, he changed his mind after learning that the former ES Setif striker didn’t want to join the Fennecs.
“Ziaya was good to go at first but I called him numerous times and he didn’t answer his phone. I sent him a common friend of ours who works in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Boudiaf, to tell him to respond and to tell us whether he’s motivated to come or not,” he said.
“Finally, the FA President, Raouaraoua, met with him and spoke to him for a long time. He told me that Ziaya is not thinking straight and that he prefers not to join the team. So I decided that there’s no point of calling up a player that isn’t motivated.”
Other reports out of the north African country indicate that Ziaya refused the prospect of joining the team as a reserve player who would only get a chance to play at the World Cup if a team-mate suffered a serious injury that would rule them out of the competition. Whatever the case, Saadane says he won’t hold it against him in the future but is rather confused about last year’s CAF Confederation Cup leading scorer’s thought process.
“I’m not going to sanction him because he was honest. I prefer for him to be frank instead of causing problems later. It’s too bad that Ziaya made this choice. He doesn’t know what’s good for him. I know him well, he’s perturbed in the head,” offered Saadane.
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