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Algeria-Egypt tensions mount
by Paul Kennedy, November 21st, 2009 7AM



[WORLD CUP 2010 QUALIFYING] Tensions remained high between Algeria and Egypt following their two World Cup qualifiers that resulted in the Fennecs qualifying at the Pharaohs' expense. Alaa Mubarak, son of Egypt President Hosni Mubarak, fueled the fire by saying on Egypt's most popular television talk show that "we can't be silent about what happened there."

A riot took place outside the Algerian embassy in Cairo on Thursday night and Egypt recalled its ambassador to Algeria on Friday in response to Algerian attacks on Egyptian business interests.

"We have to take a stand," Alaa Mubarak went on. "This is enough. That's it, this is enough. Egypt should be respected. We are Egyptian and we hold our head high, and whoever insults us should be smacked on his head."

Trouble began when the Algerian team bus was attacked by youths in Cairo after the Fennecs arrived for the final group match. Egypt won the game, 2-0, to force a playoff in Khartoum, where thousands of fans from both countries fly to watch the playoff.

Algeria won the playoff, 1-0, to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986. Egypt, the two-time African champion, had been seen as the favorite to qualify.

Thirty-five police were reportedly hurt in Thursday's rioting.

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