CAIRO: Sudanese officials are hopeful of organizing and hosting a friendly between Egypt and Algeria, in an attempt at reconciliation between the two countries.
We are in talks with Egypt and Algeria to host a friendly game in Sudan, said Mohamed Ali Abdul-Halim, a top aide of the governor of Khartoum.
The talks are in preliminary stages. Hopefully, the game can be played as soon as possible, Abdul-Halim told a press conference in Cairo on Thursday.
Sudanese president Omar Hassan Al-Beshir has tackled the issue during a recent visit to Algeria.
Diplomatic relations between Egypt and Algeria were at stake for the past five months as media from both countries exchanged accusations of off-the-field violence during their two games in the World Cup qualifiers.
Algerian media claimed that eight fans were beaten to death in Cairo after Egypt defeated Algeria 2-0 in the last match of the qualifiers on November 18th, forcing a decider in Sudan four days later.
One day before the game in Cairo, the Algerian team s bus was attacked by Egyptian supporters, with three players sustaining minor injuries.
Egyptian workers in Algeria were attacked and hundreds of them returned home with their families in fear over their lives.
Unfortunate incidents followed in Khartoum, where the decider was played. Fans clashed off the pitch, with the Egyptian supporters being outnumbered and their busses being stoned by Algerian crowds.
Politicians, journalists and sports stars from both countries have engaged in a war of words since then, despite attempts from several Arab countries to ease the tension.