Following their historic victory in the TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup, USM Alger were honored with a state banquet at the Presidential Palace by Algeria President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.
The event, held on Sunday, recognized the entire USM Alger fraternity, including the management, administrative staff, playing squad, and the late Bilal Ben Hammouda’s family. Ben Hammouda, a former player, tragically passed away in an accident last year.
Notable figures in Algeria’s government, such as Speaker of the National Assembly Saleh Goujil, Prime Minister Aymen Benabderrahmane, Chief of Staff of the People’s National Army Lieutenant General Said Changriha, and Minister of Youth and Sports Abdelrahman Hammad, were present at the banquet.
During the ceremony, USM Alger’s Board of Directors chairman Sayed Ahmed Aarab and head coach Abdelhak Benchikha presented a commemorative shirt to President Tebboune, expressing their gratitude for his unwavering support of sports in the country.
The players, led by captain Zinnedine Belaid, and the technical staff members were delighted with the recognition and honor bestowed upon them by the highest authority in the nation, following their triumph on the continental stage.
USM Alger secured their victory by becoming the first Algerian club to win the Confederation Cup title. Despite losing the return fixture 1-0 in Algiers last weekend, their 2-1 victory in the first leg in Dar es Salaam against Tanzania’s Young Africans ensured they clinched the crown on the away goal rule with a 2-2 aggregate draw.
Similarly, Young Africans were also given a state reception in Dar es Salaam earlier this week by President Samia Suluhu Hassan. The team became only the second in Tanzanian football history to reach a continental final.
President Samia showed immense support to Young Africans, providing financial incentives and encouraging them to aim for the title in the upcoming season. She expressed pride in the team’s representation of Tanzania and East Africa on the international stage.
“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 President Said Hersi, expressed their delight at the backing they received from the head of state, which included consistent financial support throughout their campaign.