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Sunday, 7 October, 2001, 12:04 GMT 13:04 UK
Historic game abandoned
Zinezine Zidane in full flight
Zinezine Zidane was hailed by fans from both teams
The first ever international match between Algeria and France was abandoned on Saturday after Algerian fans invaded the pitch.

The game at the Stade de France in Paris was stopped when the fans ran on to the pitch with 12 minutes remaining.

As riot police entered the pitch, the supporters began hurling plastic bottles and other objects at them.

Portuguese referee Paulo Manuel Gomes Costa then sent the players back to the safety of the dressing rooms with the world champions leading 4-1.

High risk

The first meeting between the two nations since Algeria gained independence from France in 1962 had been rated as high risk and security had been subsequently reinforced.

Farid Ghazi
Farid Ghazi was "disappointed" by the invasion
"When you see something like this, you must be disappointed. It's a shame the match ended like this," said Algerian striker Farid Ghazi.

Substitute Rachid Saifi also regretted events at the Stade de France, venue of the 1998 World Cup final.

He said: "It's a blow for us. It gives a very bad image of our country and this is a sad day for Algeria."

The game itself was completely dominated right from the onset by the reigning world and European champions.

But French playmaker Zinedine Zidane, who was hailed by fans from both sides because of his Algerian origins, was offered very little room to express himself.


It gives a very bad image of our country and this is a sad day for Algeria.
Rachid Saifi
For the record, the French goals came from Vincent Candela, Emmanuel Petit, Thierry Henry and Robert Pires.

France goalkeeper Fabien Barthez was beaten on the stroke of half-time when a free-kick from Olympique Marseille's Djamel Belmadi found the back of the net.

See also:

02 Oct 01 |  Africa
Algeria welcome 'peace' game
28 Sep 01 |  World Cup 2002
France pick eight Premiership stars
22 Dec 00 |  Eng Prem
Henry pips Zidane to award
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