Mubarak's Son Enraged Over Algerians' Behaviour

Egyptian president's elder son called for a tough stand amid an escalating diplomatic row following the loss to Algeria in a World Cup qualification playoff, as angry soccer fans rioted long into the night and
mubarak s son enraged over algerians behaviour -...
PTI November 24, 2009 10:57 IST

Egyptian president's elder son called for a tough stand amid an escalating diplomatic row following the loss to Algeria in a World Cup qualification playoff, as angry soccer fans rioted long into the night and early Friday near the Algerian embassy in Cairo.

Mubarak's low-profile son Alaa made an unusual statement, saying Egypt should "take a stance" and respond to the "terror, hostility" and mistreatment of Egyptians by the Algerians.

Speaking on an Egyptian satellite TV station, businessman Alaa Mubarak _ who unlike his politically prominent younger brother Gamal rarely speaks publicly _ said the tensions reveal Algeria's "grudge and ill-will" toward Egypt.

"It is impossible that we as Egyptians take this, we have to stand up and say 'enough,'" said Alaa, who had traveled to Khartoum for Wednesday's game. "There should be a stance, we have had enough."

"When you insult my dignity ... I will beat you on the head," added the younger Mubarak.

Hundreds of fans scuffled with anti-riot police protecting the Algerian embassy and fired gas spray during a demonstration that started late Thursday near the diplomatic mission. They beat drums and chanted anti-Algerian slogans and "Allahu Akbar," or "God is Great" in Arabic.

They smashed cars and shop windows, and ransacked a nearby gas station, leaving behind shattered glass and garbage strewn across the streets.

Algeria had won Wednesday's match, played in Sudanese capital Khartoum, with 1-0 to advance to the 2010 World Cup. The game was a playoff after Egypt won on Saturday in Cairo 2-0. It was Algeria's first World Cup ticket since 1986.

Tensions first erupted when Egyptian fans pelted a bus with Algerian players after their arrival in Cairo ahead of Saturday's game. Three players were injured and two of them played that match with head bandages. Afterward, 32 people were injured in clashes between Egyptian and Algerian fans, and offices of Egyptian companies in Algeria were ransacked.

Following Algeria's win in Khartoum on Wednesday, Egyptian fans were attacked in the Sudanese capital.

On Thursday, Egypt's Foreign Ministry summoned Algeria's ambassador in Cairo to express "extreme dismay" over the attacks. Egypt's ambassador in Algiers, Abdul-Aziz Seif al-Nasr, was instructed to return to Egypt for consultations, a ministry statement said. AP

 
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