- The organization of 2025 was decided and everything was arranged for Morocco
Interviewer: Gamal Frani
- Hafeez, welcome to us here in the hospitality of “Al-Hiwar”
First of all, I would like to direct to Al-Hiwar and those who watch over it, who gave me the opportunity to talk about many issues related to Algerian and even international sports, since the event was recently the World Cup in Qatar.
- First, we talk about the 2022 World Cup, which was an unparalleled success. How did you live the atmosphere there??
In fact, the event was big and very special, as the Qataris organized an exceptional World Cup, which has not happened in the history of the competition since its inception in 1930, but many do not know the origin of the story that began in 2010, when Qatar got this honor, as it was a big surprise for us. At that time, for many people.
- A tendentious campaign against the host country preceded this session. What is the reason behind that?
Western society considered the Arabs to be backward, and that they still ride horses and camels, and they do not have services and despise women, and the various groups of society do not have rights, and two years ago they woke up from that dream, to find Qatar ready in all respects to embrace this event, despite its small area, media campaigns began In the beginning, it was talk about bribes and illegal practices to win over the organization, and there were many investigations about it.
- How did Qatar succeed in refuting all these campaigns? ?
Qatar then owned half a stadium, Khalifa Stadium, and three modifications took place in it to become what it is today, and 7 others did not exist completely, different from what exists in the world, and in parallel with that many facilities were built, beginning with the infrastructure, including the port, The international airport, roads, metro, and simple social services have also developed, including those related to the telephone and banks, so that they now have the best banking system in the world, in addition to a health system, which made it one of the best countries in various fields, and I always said that Hats off to whoever plans, builds, and decides, whether they are Qatari, Arab, or foreign, because there they have no complexes about nationality, color, or the place you come from.
- But getting to that level didn’t come out of nowhere?
This is a fact only Qatar started from the base, it organized Gulf championships, then Asian, then Arab, and reached the world, in all disciplines, whether football, handball, athletics, and all other sports, so the system that runs on it is strong, and helped it resist The campaigns launched by the West against them, especially since they worked in complete secrecy, and when the time of the session came, the campaigns calling for workers’ rights, then gay rights, and then women’s rights intensified, but they did not reach a conclusion, since the Qataris focused on all the small details that formed a sign milestone.
- Promoting Qatari, Arab and Islamic culture was an advantage in this session, how did you find that?
The most confirmed thing is that the Qataris planned all the small details, what happened after the coronation of Argentina, with Messi wearing the Qatari bisht the moment he raised his first World Cup, it will remain firmly in the minds, and a child will come after 50 years who will say what Messi wore at the time, and this image will remain permanently engraved, Therefore, whoever planned this matter is a genius, and he is well aware of what he is doing.
- 220 billion dollars were spent to organize this World Cup. Do you think that this number is reasonable compared to Russia, for example?
Qatar did not spend 220 billion dollars in order to organize the World Cup, but rather spent it in order to build its country, as it built a global port, an international airport, and many public facilities. This organization was an opportunity for Qatar to reach the ranks of the major countries, and we must not forget that Years ago, gas prices fell, in addition to the remnants of the “Corona” period and its consequences on the global economy, which increased the cost of completion, but despite this, Qatar assured Arabs, Africans, Asians, and all developing countries that they can reach the level of Western countries, provided they work. According to a tight plan.
- Qatar imposed its conditions, but what caught your attention?
This Qatari steadfastness did not come from a vacuum, but rather thanks to a great work, as the Western countries launched strong campaigns against Qatar, but it stood steadfast in the face of those who wanted to make “homosexuality” a normal thing, and it also allowed the Palestinians, for the first time in their history, to board the plane. From Tel Aviv Airport, to join Doha, and there is something special that I want to talk about is the organizing committee for any session, such as the organizing committee for “the affair” in Algeria, but they formed a special organizing committee called the “Projects and Legacy” committee, which took care of all the projects related to the World Cup Since 2010, which consists of Qatari and external frameworks, it has been called the “legacy” because this World Cup will leave a legacy since they will try to organize the 2034 Olympic Games, and they will organize Asian tournaments, such as the 2023 Asian Cup.
- What after this World Cup?
When I hear people talk about organizing this event, I will speak and say that I was present and experienced the achievements and felt pride and pride, and there is no Arab or Muslim who is not proud of what Qatar has achieved, and we made sure that the impossible is possible, and we said it will not stop here, but rather will strive to organize more events sports, and in the foreground will be the 2034 Olympic Games.
- Talking about Qatar leads us to talk about Algeria’s file for organizing “Can 2025”. You had confirmed that the organization’s file had been decided in favor of the neighbors. Was that a mere analysis or was it the truth?
The organization of the 2025 Africa Cup was decided according to my communication, and everything was arranged for Morocco, with several people, and this is according to an analysis based on data, and according to my communication with influential people, the matter of organizing the 2025 African Cup was decided, not official, but it was arranged how the organization would be, this matter was It happens before, and the members of the Executive Board, must be familiar with the name of the host country.
- However, many observers assert that the organization of “Al-Shan” will be a decisive turning point in granting hosting to Algeria or not. What do you think?
The organization of the “Chan” has nothing to do with the “Can”, even if we organize the African Cup for the locals as Qatar organized the World Cup, we will not get the organization of the 2025 African Cup, because the matter will be different, since we know what is being hatched behind the scenes within the corridors of the Confederation of African Football. Therefore, the first of them is that the “Al-Shan” organization will not have any relationship with the “Al-Kan” organization, just as the organization was granted in 2017, 2019 and 2021 by then-CAF President Issa Hayatou. It will be granted again to countries that they want.
- Another issue that made the event, which is the issue of Djamel Belmadi remaining at the helm of the national team. You asked him to leave, but some see that you are part of a campaign hatched against him?
I have no problem with Djamel Belmadi as a person or as a coach, so I will continue to encourage him with the same strength or more, and I challenge everyone who says that Belmadi does not bear part of the responsibility for the exclusion with the players, and I have never said Djamel Belmadi is a failure just as he bears part of the responsibility for the exclusion just as he has the credit for the achievement The 2019 African Cup, and he himself confirmed that he bears responsibility, so why so much prejudice against anyone who says that?
- Perhaps now, especially since you supported him after the elimination?
I did not say it at the time because we needed time to heal the wounds, and no one dictates to me what to say or when to speak, so I chose silence at that time, as it was easier at that time to shoot arrows at the national voter, but I did not do that, and when the time passed I did not speak either, The only thing is that a journalist asked me, and I answered him, sticking to my opinion, that Belmadi should have left after the failure.
- What is it, in your opinion, that is ignorant of my past, causing exclusion?
I did not say that he is the only one responsible, as there are the players who complied in the last minutes, and there is the Algerian Football Federation, and there are even the media, and everyone is responsible, but Belmadi has a share of the responsibility for exclusion. This is something that is inevitable to say, just as there is another matter after the exclusion, which appeared on the fallen national voter crying on the field floor, and this is something I was not happy about. He had to be more powerful than his players, and he should be the one who comforts them and not the other way around, so First, we have to overcome the mentality of sanctifying people. Whoever works will be rewarded, and whoever fails will leave his place and withdraw without any fuss.
- What data was your analysis based on?
In the past, it has changed compared to last year. I am not saying that it has changed for the worse. Even I have changed in view of the past year, but I always speak according to the data I have, and I always say that the 2019 team is completely different from the current team.
- Look sad after the exclusion of the Greens from the World Cup?
This is for sure, and there is still a pain in my heart due to the absence of Algeria from this global event. It is true that this matter is related to sports only, and it is something that happened even with the big teams, but I was hoping to see Algeria in Doha, and to comment on its matches, but this is it. This is the case, and we hope that Algeria will be present in the upcoming sports dates, starting with the 2026 World Cup.
- Going back to talking about the World Cup, you had predicted that Argentina would be crowned after losing to Saudi Arabia, how is that?
It was an expectation and a wish for me to crown Messi with the title, which is something that happens to me, and perhaps people remembered that, since I insisted on my candidacy for Argentina despite the loss to Saudi Arabia, and about this matter I will tell you a story that happened to me with a friend who works with me.
A friend who used to work with me once said to me, Hafeez, can you tell me the time when I will get married, and my reply was that it is not to this degree, because sometimes we expect things to happen and this is common.
- At the present time, who is his candidate for the best award offered by “FIFA” among the trio Messi, Mbappe and Benzema?
I believe that the award for the best should be given to Lionel Messi, who gave everything in football. He closed the record of achievements by crowning the title he was missing, which was the World Cup, so he is more deserving of it than Benzema and Mbappe.
- What do you say about the racism that has recently overwhelmed the world football arena, especially in France? What message do you send to dual nationals now?
This phenomenon has existed for years, especially in France, and it cannot be suppressed, so the Algerian players who are reluctant to carry the national colors have made sure that playing for Algeria is a great honor, and they must follow what dictates the call of the heart, because in the end it is an athlete’s choice, and Europe’s favors for them are great. They were there.
- Algeria named the new stadium in Baraki after Nelson Mandela, do you like it?
Nelson Mandela is a great African leader, and naming his name on one of the Algerian stadiums is not by chance. Very nice, since he is a respected historical figure, and Algeria has built a lot and is still building.
- Tizi Ouzou stadium was not called by any name, what do you suggest?
There are many names put forward for this stadium. It is possible for me to name the boat after the late fighter Hussein Ait Ahmed, and the stadium for Muhannad Sherif Hanachi, but everyone has his own opinion, whether from the political or sports side.
- Many talked about your return to Algeria and the establishment of a real Algerian sports channel. What is your response?
Since the first week of leaving Algeria, you start thinking about that, but I never felt that I was absent from Algeria, but this matter is not in my hands, because I am always emotionally attached to my country, and why not and it is not related to me, but a strong Algerian sports channel must be established, in order to Overcome challenges.
- What does Draghi remember in his youth, and today he is among the most prominent media faces in Algeria?
I remember a lot of things, but unlike what is currently happening, things were not as fast as we live today. A terrible development occurred in the world, and we lost many beautiful things with it. For example, when we were young, we did not give much importance to time, and we used to play for hours without getting tired or tired. Boredom is the opposite of the present time.
- What do you expect for the year 2023?
I expect it to be better next year, and I wish the Algerians well, and I hope that we will have projects and plans for the future, and I hope that the capabilities will be available, and I do not mean primarily the material capabilities, because they exist, and what must be available is to allow the competencies to obtain their right to establish their own projects, then embodied.
We hope that Algeria will always be better and better with the presence of all its children, and the unity of all, in order to build a strong homeland, in all respects, and with the contribution of all its children, whether here or abroad.
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