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Algeria includes undecided Belfodil in Nations Cup squad

Published: Updated:
Algeria have named Parma striker Ishak Belfodil in their squad for the African Nations Cup finals despite concerns that he does not want to play in the tournament.

Belfodil, who has sent out mixed messages about playing in the three-week tournament in South Africa, was part of a 24-man selection named by the Algerian Football Federation on Tuesday.

He changed his footballing nationality to Algeria, after playing for France at junior level, but then turned down recent call-ups from the coach Vahid Halilhodzic.

The squad will have to be cut by one by Jan. 9.

The north Africans begin their Group D campaign against neighbors Tunisia in Rustenburg on Jan. 22 before playing Ivory Coast and Togo in the first stage of the competition.

Halilhodzic has included uncapped French-born defender Faouzi Ghoulam, who has had an impressive season in Ligue 1 with St Etienne, after persuading him in recent weeks to play for Algeria.

There is no place in the squad for striker Rafik Djebbour of Greek champions Olympiakos Piraeus or former captain Madjid Bougherra.

Nine members of the squad were also part of the 23-man selection for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.