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Ramadan queries annoy coach

2014-06-30 13:09
Vahid Halilhodzic (Supplied)
Vahid Halilhodzic (Supplied)
Cape Town - Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic has voiced his displeasure at being asked which of his players are observing Ramadan.

The 30-day dawn-to-dusk Muslim fast began on Sunday, and a number of the players in the Algerian camp are believed to be staying true to their faith by fasting, even though their religion permits them to avoid it as they are travelling.

When asked about the matter in the build up to his side's last-16 clash with Germany on Monday, Halilhodzic reacted with anger.

"This is a private matter and when you ask this you lack respect and ethics," he asserted.

"The players will do as they wish and I would like to stop this controversy.

"Ramadan is here and I read in some Algerian newspapers criticisms about me, about my image, about my honour," he added.

"They are trying to raise hatred against Vahid, against my family, and this is really disgusting.

"It is not the first time I have Muslim players in my team, I myself am a Muslim, and I've always left them totally free. This is a private issue - it has to do with private freedom of expression.

"Those who continue criticising our team and my actions, I think it's shameful. But I will continue [as coach], I will continue working with this team. I'm sorry that you continue criticising what I do.

"Stop asking me about Ramadan, otherwise I will get up and leave."

Algeria captain Madjid Bougherra has previously stated that he will observe the holy month despite being at the World Cup.

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