Fear of fiasco lurks at Mediterranean Games in Oran


On the eve of the opening of the XIXto Fears that the organization of the Mediterranean Games, held in Oran, Algeria, from 25 June to 5 July, would fail, tormented the country’s highest authorities, were fueled by the first sobs.

It must be said that political power has bet a lot on this major international sporting event, the first of its kind held in Algeria for decades. First, to restore its image, which has been tarnished by the succession of political and economic setbacks following the popular uprising of February 22, 2019, while also trying to distract an inconsolable youth since the elimination of the national football team. 2022 World Cup.

Plagiarism accusations

A shudder from the authorities: The first failure was barely realized, with the Games’ communications officer Mourad Boutadjine, a public television ex-sports journalist, sacked on 3 June. Rationale: his administration did not provide an interpreter to accompany foreign delegations to participate in the lottery operations.

Mourad Boutadjine also appears to have paid for another scandal that caused a lack of response from the authorities at the time. However, social networks made the news widely: the official poster of this twentieth edition of the Mediterranean Games, presented to the press on May 23, turned out to be pure (and weak) plagiarism.

These initial warnings have taken the President off his hinges as of June 2. Secondly, it then strictly orders the authorities responsible for these Games to do everything possible. “Achieve them”. Hearing that the state will no longer tolerate new dysfunctions on any level as the country’s credibility and prestige are at stake as it embarks on a slow and laborious exit from international isolation.

The president made a personal commitment in April, chairing a meeting to consider the final preparations, and then meeting face-to-face with the organizing committee chairman, Abdelaziz Derouaz.

BeIn Sports to the rescue

To do this, the government has lifted all the stops at the organizational and logistical levels: the construction of new international-standard sports infrastructures in Oran and the development of numerous tourist attractions in the capital of western Algeria. Purpose: To host more than 5,000 participants, including 3,434 athletes dominated by the Italians (565) and then the French (496). According to the reports of the local press at this event (mostly at the expense of the State), preparations are underway and everything is ready to welcome the delegations.

The Algerian government suspects that Morocco is behind a massive conspiracy to disrupt this major Algerian-organised event.

The main obsession of the authorities continues to be communication. Aware of the lack of experience in this area, the government has from the beginning relied on the contribution of the BeIn Sports channel for better coverage and especially the rebroadcasting of various events of these Games. The Algerians were seduced by the courage of the Qataris in the last Arab Cup held in Doha in November and December 2021 and were won by the Algerian team. An agreement was signed in Algeria on February 18, 2022 to confirm permanent cooperation with this Qatari media network, long boycotted by Algeria.

In this process, the Algerian government also called on the services of the Chinese mobile phone giant Huawei, with which a partnership agreement was initialed on June 10, especially for the supply of technological equipment to the Mediterranean Games. The Algerian public telephone company Mobilis was also involved through the establishment of a technical center responsible for monitoring the quality of the mobile network during these Games.

a political war

On a political level, the holding of this sporting event in Algeria arouses all bloggers and influencers who oppose the current power led by former diplomat Larbi Zitout, who took refuge in London in a video recording released on June 5. , clearly wants the defeat of these games. According to him, the government intends to use the event to say this. Everything is fine» in Algeria, when nothing goes!», according to your words. Larbi Zitout, the leader of the Islamist movement Rachad, which is classified as a terrorist organization by Algeria, plans to boycott many foreign delegations on this occasion.

The Algerian government, on the other hand, suspects that Morocco is behind a major conspiracy to disrupt this great event organized by Algeria once again. Amar Belani, special envoy for the problem of Western Sahara and the Maghreb countries, said on 8 June, “Cellar” (reductionist term used by the Algerian media and politicians to denote the Moroccan regime) “pay well” many media outlets.

The purpose condemns, “To tarnish and tarnish Algeria’s image and attempt to undermine its international action; Algeria In the city of Oran of the Mediterranean Games“.

“If this is a fiasco, heads will be rolling!”

A vision shared by journalist Aissam Bourbia, who believes this kind of meeting will happen. Like the Moroccan regime, it still incites campaigns of anti-Algeria resentment and hostility organized by certain parties that seek to discredit and disqualify Algeria in every way possible.».

Academic Lahouari Addi, questioned by Slate on this issue, provides a more nuanced and more critical analysis. “Government system, explains, He wants to re-establish his image abroad after his stay. blackened By Hirak, and also by the arrest of politically-minded detainees. If he manages to organize the games, he will definitely grow indoors and outdoors. But if this is a fiasco, heads will be rolling!» It promises to be amazing.