A soccer player in the Algerian league was tragically killed on Saturday when a spectator in the crowd threw an object at him during a match.
The victim, Albert Ebosse, 24, died after he was struck in the head by some kind of projectile, possibly concrete, thrown from the crowd. He was the league’s top scorer last season with an impressive 17 goals under his belt.
CNN reported today that Ebosse was from Cameroon. A statement released on Sunday by Issa Hayatou, the Cameroonian president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), said:
“My thoughts go out to the family and friends of this young man who enjoyed his job peacefully and went further to pursue his passion for football abroad. African football cannot be the breeding ground for hooliganism whatsoever. We expect exemplary sanctions to be taken against this grave act of violence. Violence has no place in African football in particular and sports in general. We remain resolute and state in the strongest terms our determination to eradicate all forms of violence and unsportsmanlike conduct in stadiums on the continent.”
The victim of the tragic attack, who played for Algerian club JS Kabylie, had scored a goal in his team’s game to make the score 2-1 at half time, even though JS were losing. As the players made their way to the dressing rooms at half time, an angry home crowd pelted them with various objects.
Ebosse died soon after the incident from a head injury.
The tragedy has cast a darkness over Algerian league football, and thrown up the ever-present issue of hooliganism at matches, a problem that many people in Algeria feel has not been addressed sufficiently. Maher Mezahi, an Algerian soccer journalist based in the north of the country, spoke about the soccer player who was killed:
“At the moment all memories of the World Cup are forgotten. Two weeks ago everyone was singing the praises of Algerian football. On the ground Algerian football needs to come a long way. He tore things up, scored 17 goals. All Algerian journalist couldn’t say a bad word against him. He was softly spoken, polite, principled. It’s a tragedy.”
There is also an apparent problem with racism in Algeria, as Ebosse was taunted by fans who made monkey noises to him last season despite his numerous goals. After one particular match, he apparently said to reporters, “I think if I’m injured, black or white will not come out of my body, Red will.”
The incident is being investigated fully by the relevant authorities with a view to bringing the perpetrator of the killing to justice.