USM Alger were honoured with a state banquet by Algeria President Abdelmadjid Tebboune at the Presidential Palace after the Algiers-based club clinched their first ever TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup title.
The entire USM Alger fraternity, from the management, administrative and playing staff as well as players and the dad to their former player Bilal Ben Hammouda who passed away in an accident last year, were honored by the Head of State on Sunday.
Apart from the President, senior figures in Algeria’s government including Speaker of the National Assembly Saleh Goujil, Prime Minister Aymen Benabderrahmane, Chief of Staff of the People's National Army Lieutenant General, Said Changriha as well as the Minister of Youth and Sports, Abdelrahman Hammad were present.
Alger’s Board of Directors chairman Sayed Ahmed Aarab, and the team’s head coach Abdelhak Benchikha presented a commemorative shirt to the President and thanked him for his continuous support to sports in the country.
The players, led by skipper Zinnedine Belaid, as well as the technical staff members were delighted with the recognition and honor given to them by the country’s highest in command, following their continental victory.
Alger won the title, becoming the first ever Algerian club to win the Confederation Cup title, after edging out Tanzania’s Young Africans on the away goal rule, following a 2-2 aggregate draw. They lost the return fixture 1-0 in Algiers last weekend, but their first leg 2-1 victory in Dar es Salaam saw them clinch the crown.
Meanwhile, early this week, Young Africans were also accorded a state reception in Dar es Salaam by President Samia Suluhu Hassan. Yanga became only the second team in Tanzanian football history to play in a continental final.
The team was honored by immense financial support from President Samia who urged them to now go for the title next season.
“We are proud of you as a country because you have raised our flag high. When you played at the big stage, it ceased being a Young Africans affair, and it turned out to be a national team affair. You were representing Tanzania and East Africa,” President Samia said as she hosted them.
The club, led by its president Said Hersi were delighted with the support from the head of State, including constant financial incentives given to the team during their entire campaign.