French Ligue 1 club FC Nantes have terminated their working relationship with 16-year-old Algerian midfielder Younes Benali of their youth team.
Reports from multiple sources have it that the player has been sacked because of his decision to represent his country at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
The player was summoned for the tournament in his native Algeria via his club but they were not in accordance with the player attending the tournament.
Benali took him upon himself to attend the tournament and FC Nantes reacted by terminating his contract though they are yet to make an official communication.
The player finally confirmed the move via an outing on social media.
“I am a lover of FC Nantes. It’s my boyhood club. I had the chance to represent my country (Algeria). Not everyone has this chance. Unfortunately I didn’t respect my club. I decided to go and represent my country,” Benali said in a press conference in Algeria.
"I decided to go to Algeria. (…) I was not disrespectful. I made the choice to represent my country, and it must be respected. Afterwards, there are those who do not agree with me." Younes Benali defends his choice despite stiff resistance from FC Nantes pic.twitter.com/NmFYp10lCn
— Oni Ladonette Ondesa🇨🇲🇨🇲🇨🇲 (@LadonetteAchoba) May 1, 2023
The midfielder is part of the Algeria squad that beat Somalia 2-0 last Saturday in the opening game of the 2023 AFCON tournament to serve as Africa’s qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup later this year.
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