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Wednesday, 18 September 2019

USM Alger might withdraw from CAF Champions League, club says

Mahmoud Sheleib, Monday 19 Aug 2019
CAF
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Algeria's USMA announced on Sunday in an official statement that the club might not be able to complete its path in the Confederation of African Football's Champions League due to lack of funds.

The crisis arose when the club's chairman Ali Haddad was arrested for financial corruption, which resulted in the freezing of the club's bank accounts.

The 54-year-old Algerian businessman Haddad invested nearly 700 million Algerian dinars to buy 83 percent of USM Alger on August 2010. In October 2010, Haddad became the club's president instead of Said Allik, who was USM Alger's chairman for 18 years.

The last season's champions defeated Niger's AS SONIDEP 2-1 in the first leg match of the round of 64 of the CAF Champions League on 9 August.

"If USM Alger's situation does not improve in the upcoming period, the team may withdraw from the CAF Champions League in case of qualifying to the next round," the club said in an official statement.

"The steps that were taken by the board and the club's lawyer have not made any change, but we will continue in our legal procedures to free the club from this tragic situation," the statement added.

The team travelled to Algeria's Constantine in order to face CS Constantine in the local league, despite its financial crisis.

"For everyone who is asking about how the team managed to travel to Constantine, this happened thanks to the subscriptions of the loyal supporters of the team, which made the board able to afford the Constantine trip," USM Alger statement revealed.

USM Alger scored in the local league title eight times, and won the Algerian cup eight times as well. Their best participation in the CAF Champions League was in 2015 as they reached the final, where they lost 4-2 in aggregate from Congo's TP Mazembe.

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