Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi has given his full backing to last month’s decision by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to issue stadium bans for various countries.
The reigning African champions play Burkina Faso on Tuesday, but in the Moroccan city Marrakech and not the Stallions’ home stadium in Ouagadougou.
This is after Caf, under new president Patrice Motsepe, ruled that Burkina Faso was one of eight countries whose stadiums were deemed unfit to host international matches.
“Countries that can’t host national teams should play elsewhere,” said Belmadi ahead of the game.
“It’s a radical decision, and it should not be an eternal one. We have to upgrade stadiums around the continent. I’m happy that since Motsepe has come into office, he’s put a lot of importance on the stadiums that we play in.”
The seven countries joining Burkina Faso in being barred from playing this month’s World Cup qualifiers at home are Central African Republic, Djibouti, Guinea Bissau, Malawi, Mali, Namibia and Niger.
After an extensive review last year of stadiums and playing surfaces across Africa, the venues in the eight countries then failed inspections by a team from Caf in August.
Morocco has picked up four of the nine matches to be played on neutral soil, with Niger and Mali joining the Burkinabe in staging games in the country.
Elsewhere, South Africa is hosting nominal home ties for both Namibia and Malawi while Cameroon staged Central African Republic (CAR) against Cape Verde last week in Douala and CAR’s game against Liberia on Monday.
The Mauritanian capital Nouakchott also hosted the West African derby between Guinea-Bissau and Guinea.
Labelling infrastructure and refereeing as two major problems of African football, Belmadi did not hold back from slamming the state of the pitch in Algerian city Blida, where his side beat Djibouti 8-0 last week.
“The pitch is the most important thing for us. We should have asked to move our match abroad as there is no point playing at home.
“I feel like I’ve been talking about this problem since I got here in July 2018,” said the coach appointed to his role that month.
“Not much has changed and if things do, it is only for a match. There is no consistency in the upkeep that a national stadium needs.”
Under Belmadi, Algeria are currently on Africa’s record unbeaten run – with their defeat of Djibouti meaning they are now unbeaten in 28 games.
The world record is 36, with Italy having recently joined Brazil in achieving the feat. – BBC