The sky of Douala fell on the head of Algeria, beaten this Thursday by Côte d'Ivoire (3-1).
The Fennecs, defending champions, finished last in their group with a small point and only one goal scored.
Like a cruel remake of 1992. Arrived in Senegal as African champions, the Algerians had taken the door in a group which already included… Côte d'Ivoire.
In a country where the art of criticism is one of the national sports and the press very aggressive, things will inevitably creak in the coming days.
In recent months, Djamel Belmadi had earned the nickname "Minister of Happiness" against the backdrop of a fantastic series (35 games without defeat).
But the former midfielder trained at PSG will have to put out the fire.
As in all his CAN press conferences, that of this Thursday evening was again tense.
A new pass of arms opposed him to a journalist about Riyad Mahrez, it is true disappointing during this competition.
The Manchester City attacking midfielder even missed a penalty against Ivory Coast...
“You are not well informed, even dishonest.
“We could have settled this as a family but you want to do this here… Patience. We'll sort this out in due time. We must not denigrate a player who has given so much happiness. I assume this choice. I would have liked to settle this with the family but hey, you don't have the ins and outs of this story, I didn't give a vacation to Riyadh. You are not well informed, even dishonest. »
The coach then tried to analyze the failed course of his team.
“It is difficult to make a rational analysis after such disappointment.
We weren't up to the competition.
We had prepared 100% for this competition.
We wanted to defend our title.
We did not get what we wanted to look for.
It's a total failure.
Ivory Coast proved to be better than us.
They were surgical in the surface.
This is what we missed on this CAN.
Nothing is juxtaposed as we would have liked.
I'm not going to talk about polemics right now.
Read alsoNordine Kourichi's analysis of Algeria's failure
“We are in doubt, we will have to get back into the roadblocks”
Belmadi nevertheless mentioned the preparation. “Perhaps a lack of freshness linked to many things. The preparation was chaotic for all the teams, when we see the delay in the date of the availability of the players. We also didn't want to talk too much about players affected by Covid without necessarily switching to withholding information. It's hard to talk about that."
The Algerian coach, who should not be threatened, then projected himself on the qualifying play-offs for the Qatar World Cup, which will happen quickly, in March.
“We will analyze all of this coldly.
We will have to focus on the dams.
It is too early to explain how to use this failure to recover.
Of course I have an idea what went wrong.
Many things but too early to talk about it.
Talking about a crisis is perhaps not appropriate.
We failed, yes.
We did in three games what we hadn't had in three years.
This feeling of defeat is bitter.
We are in doubt.
We will have to get back into the dams.
A World Cup is not nothing.
We will have to work now.