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Year-ender tragedy as bus crash kills goalkeeper and assistant coach of Algerian club

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A bus crash killed two members of Algerian Ligue 1 side Mouloudia El Bayadh in the late hours of Wednesday, prompting the national football federation to postpone all games scheduled for this week across all divisions.

The Algerian state news agency said the accident killed El Bayadh goalkeeper Zakaria Bouziani, 27, and assistant coach Khalid Muftah.

Bouziani, a stand-in goalkeeper, made two league appearances this season.

The bus carrying the team overturned in the town of Sougueur in northwestern Algeria while en route to Tizi Ouzou to face JSK Kabylie in a league game on Friday, according to local media. The club said on Facebook that other injured members were in stable condition.

“In the wake of the painful tragedy that befell Algerian football … the Algerian Football Federation decided to suspend all football activities scheduled for the end of this week across the entire country,” the federation said in a statement.

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“The Federation also decided to postpone the draw ceremony for the 32nd and 16th rounds of the Algerian Cup to a later date.”

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said in a statement that he received the news of the tragedy with “great pain and sorrow”, offering his condolences to the families of the victims.

El Bayadh lie sixth in the Algerian league table with 15 points from 10 games, 12 adrift of runaway leaders MC Alger.

-Reuters

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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