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The team of the National Liberation Front

By the time the November revolution was going through a crucial and fateful stage, it had known an intensification in the diplomatic battle after the internalization of the Algerian mattern and accessing the United Nations. Despite the French authorities' attempts to stifle in order to make the revolution’s plans fail, it came with the idea of the establishment of the National Liberation Front football team to be the ambassador of the Algerian matter across the capitals of the world.

The team was formed on April 13th 1958, and its role consisted of publicizing the Algerian matter even more, and internalizing it in front of the International public opinion. Moreover, the team was the actual ambassador of the Algerian matter within the work that was aiming at accelerating independence. Except that accuracy and sophistication made them obtain what they wanted through the birth of this team, and allowed them to show the competencies of the compatriots of this violated country.

Moreover, the decision was not easy for the leaders of the National Liberation Front, because the task was not an easing one considering the situations at that time. Therefore, it was necessary to work in strict confidence, and avoid any mistake that could lead to the failure of the mission until the actual start of the newborn. Nevertheless, expertise, intelligence and far-sightedness of people who were assigned with this difficult and delicate mission was much stronger than the French’s supervision, so they aptly succeeded their mission with the leadership of the engineer Mohammed Boumerzak and Ben Bitour.

They initially started with getting close to the young professional players in the French clubs, where Boumerzak and companions worked on gaining the amity and trust of a group of the most significant names who were highly popular, such as Rachid Makhloufi who participated in the coronation of the military French national team with the world cup, in addition to Mostefa Zitouni who was concerned with Sweden World Cup along with Makhloufi in 1958, Mohammed Maouche, Abdelhamid Zoba, the Soukan brothers, and others from the periodic meetings during week-ends so they don’t catch the attention of the conductors of the clubs they were playing in. Then, it was time for securing the routes for the escape of the players after they accepted the idea, and agreed on responding to the country and the fron’t call according to the privileges they were having in their clubs.

Moreover, the escape of the finest professional football players who resided in France in addition to the French championship stars, and their travel across Switzerland and Italy to Tunisia the headquarter of the Interim Government of the Algerian Republic (IGAR). Nonetheless, the arrest of Mohammed Maouche the player of Stade De Reims on the Franco-Swiss borders caused a huge fanfare in Europe and Nations of the world, and it was a severe blow for France who was working to destroy the revolution, and to stop its spread through the suppression of all the organizations of the National Liberation Front, because the disappearance of 10 brilliant names of the French league in one night was a real slap for the French on all levels.

Furthermore, the objectives of the football team of the National Liberation Front consisted of depriving France from the main players and raising the international awareness about the Algerian struggle for independence, and proving that the National Liberation Front had the support of Algerian people internally and externally. Additionally, the players and all the staff of the team were mostly scarifiers and Mujahideen who worked for free, and did not wait for anything in return even though they were youngsters, and they gave their all during the interviews across the world. Their only concern was to provide support for the National Liberation Front in the internalization of the Algerian matter and publicizing it through sports, since the supreme command back then was saying that if we were in a political discourse we can gather 100 to 1000 people, then a football game would exceed 60 thousand followers, where the team raised the Algerian flag and sang the national anthem in many capitals. The team existed from 1958 to June 6th 1962, when the “national” team was officially dissolved  1962 and was replaced by his legal successor The Algerian football team in 1963.

The composition of the National Liberation Front’s team

–The goalies: Abderrahmane Boubeker, Ali Doudou and Abderrahmane Ibrir.

–Defense: Mostefa Zitouni, Kadour Bakhloufi, Mohammed Soukan, Cherif Bouchache, Ismail Ibrir, and Abdullah Setati.

–Center of the field: Mokhtar Arribi, Said Haddad, Ali Ben Fada, Mohammed Boumerzak, Hacene Bortal, Amar Rouai, Hacene Chebri.

–Attack: Abdelhamid Kermali, Abdelaziz Bentifour, Abdelhamid Bouchouk, Rachid Makhloufi, Said Brahimi, Mohammed Maouche, Ahmed Oudjani, Amokrane Oualiken, Abderrahmane Soukan, Abdelaziz Mazouz, Mohammed Bouricha, Abdelkarim Kerroum, Hocine Bouchach, Said Amara, Abdelhamid Zoba, Mohammed Tahar.