Algeria Paralympics team ‘did not boycott’ games

This April 4, 2016 file photo shows workers cleaning the Future Arena during a foreign media tour at Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which will host Olympic handball games and Paralympic goalball. (File photo AP)

The Algerian women’s goalball team denied accusations made by the International Paralympic Committee for missing their first two games against the US and Israel.

After the team arrived in Rio de Janeiro, their spokesperson explained that they had traffic issues and said he was “astonished” by the accusations that were made.

The team’s delayed arrival led to suspicions that they planned to boycotted the match against Israel.

“I wonder why the team would boycott the Paralympics tournament that it has prepared so hard for and for which the Algerian state has spent so much money on,” spokesperson Abdelkader Kelfat told the AFP news agency.

He said the team had missed a connection flight in Rome last Monday, when they left their training camp in Poland.

Algeria had been scheduled to play a match against Israel on Saturday, and the US on Friday, five days after their departure from Poland.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49