Sport in Algeria
Sport in Algeria refers to the sports played in Algeria. Games already existed during antiquity. In the Aures, people played several games such As El Kherdba or El khergueba (chess variant). Playing cards, checkers and chess games are part of Algerian culture. Racing (fantasia) and the rifle shooting are part of cultural recreation of the Algerians.
The first Algerian, Arab and African gold medalist is Boughera El Ouafi in 1928 Olympics of Amsterdam in the Marathon. The second Algerian Medalist was Alain Mimoun in 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne. The Ministry of Youth and Sports in Algeria manages all activities related to the sport.
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The most convenient and the most popular sport In Algeria remains association football. During the Algerian war, the FLN football team (Le onze de l'indépendance), consisting of players who later joined the National Liberation Front (FLN) (an Algerian independence movement), participated in several tournaments and sports events.
The Algerian Football Federation (AFF) is an association of Algerian football clubs that organizes national competitions and international matches for the Algeria national football team. The AFF organized the meetings of the Algeria Championship of football, a professional league of 16 clubs, the Algerian Cup, and is also a member of the Confederation of African Football. Notable Algerian players in the history of the sport include: Lakhdar Belloumi, Rachid Mekhloufi, Hassen Lalmas, Rabah Madjer, Salah Assad and Djamel Zidane.
The Algerian national team qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 1982, 1986, 2010 and 2014. In 1982, the national team came close to progressing into the second round, but was eliminated after Germany beat Austria in the so-called "non-aggression pact of Gijón". In 2014 Algeria proceeded to the Round of 16 for the first time after finishing in the second place in Group H. Additionally, several football clubs have won continental and international trophies, such as the clubs ES Sétif and JS Kabylia.
Handball is the second most popular spectator and participation sport. With 6 titles of the Men's African Championship, 4 gold medals in All-Africa Games and many other titles with many participations in the World Championship and in the Olympic Games, the national handball team became one of the great team of the world. The national clubs are also strong and win many international titles.
Algeria, along with Tunisia, is one of the best African male handball teams. The men's national handball team won several titles including in the African Championship in 1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989 and 1996. The women's national handball team has also triumphed in the tournaments of the African Championship and the Pan Arab games.
Athletics is too one of the important sport of the country. Algeria is especially known in the Middle distance running (800m, 1500m, 5000m) when it have many winner in the IAAF World Championships and gold medals in the Olympic Games. Several men and women were champions in athletics in the 1990s including Noureddine Morceli, Hassiba Boulmerka, Nouria Merah-Benida, and Taoufik Makhloufi all specialized in middle distance running.
Algeria have many African and world champions and many medals in the Olympic Games. There are several names who shined, like world champion Mohamed Benguesmia, Loucif Hamani, and Hocine Soltani, the Olympic champion in Atlanta 1996.
Cycling has experienced several big names including Hamza Majid who won several times the Yellow Jersey in the late 1970s and early 1980s, in national competitions. Also, there are several names in the 1980s until today, such As Hichem Chaabane, Redouane Chabaane, Abdel Basset Hannachi, Azedine Lagab, Eddy Lembo. The latter plays in France.
In Vovinam, the Algerian had tens of thousands of practitioners who distinguished themselves in the world Championship of 2011 in Ho Chi Minh City. In judo, Amar Benikhlef and Ali Idir won several times the African Championship in there categories. Also several women as Soraya Haddad and Salima Souakri, took trophies At the African Championship of nations of women's judo.
The volleyball team of Algeria qualified to the Volleyball World Championship. They won several titles in several international competitions in the past.
Basketball is too important sport such as volleyball however with a few international titles.
In swimming, there is Salim Iles African and Arabic champion and who has had major performance at the olympics.
Major sport events hosted
- 1960 World Military Cup (French Algeria)
- 1975 Mediterranean Games
- 1978 All-Africa Games
- 1990 African Cup of Nations
- 2004 Pan Arab Games
- 2005 Boys Youth Volleyball World Championship
- 2007 All-Africa Games
- (Arabic) (French) Official website of the Ministry of Youth and Sport