Algeria have already qualified for the African Cup of Nations tournament, but exactly where that tournament will take place starting early January is not known, after Morocco pulled out of hosting the tournament because of concerns about the Ebola outbreak.
Mehdi Abeid in action against Liverpool
Morocco wanted to delay the tournament for a year because of concerns about the potential spread of the Ebola virus, but the
Confederation of African Football (CAF) say they will name the new location in just a couple of days, so it looks as though the tournament will still be going ahead despite concerns over Ebola.
It is the first senior call-up by Algeria for Newcastle’s defensive midfielder Mehdi Abeid, and he could even make his full debut in the Group B game against Ethiopia tomorrow night.
This is what Mehdi has told the Shields Gazette today:
“It’s my first time with the senior national team,” “I’m really happy I’ve been called up. It’s great for me.”
“Of course the AFCON is in my mind,” “It will depend on the choice of the manager.” “I have a chance, and I will try to do my best, but the most important thing is to play for Newcastle.”
“We will see what will be.” “I want to impose myself here, and then think of my national team. My first thought is to play a lot of games for Newcastle.”
Algeria have already qualified for the finals and currently stand 6 points cleat at the top of Group B, so the results of their final two group games don’t matter all that much.
We’d be very surprised if Mehdi doesn’t make the full Algerian squad for the tournament, but that does mean Newcastle will be without him from early January and for up to six weeks potentially. 🙁
Our other two top African players Papiss Cisse and Cheick Tiote could also be away during that period.
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