AFCON 2022: A series of undefeated matches of Algeria according to official FIFA records

When Algeria took the African Cup of Nations in 2022, the team felt it was within reach to set a new international football record for the event.

But according to official FIFA statistics, this may not necessarily be the case.

The longest series of national teams without defeat currently lasts 37 matches, recently set by the Italian team, which went from three years without loss in the years 2018 to 2021. Based on its numbers, the Algerian federation claims that its series without defeat is 35 matches after a 0-0 draw against Sierra Leone, just three since the new record was set, as it continues its participation in AFCON.

MORE: Updated schedule and results of AFCON 2022

Not so fast. When FIFA contacted Sporting News before the start of Algeria’s AFCON 2022, FIFA confirmed that Algeria was in 24 matches (now 25 matches after the opening draw of AFCON vs. Sierra Leone). what’s in the game? There seems to be a discrepancy around the 3-0 loss to Morocco on October 19, 2019, which the Algerian Federation does not take into account in its series calculations. Except that FIFA has not yet decided to close its eyes before that.

Series Algeria without defeat: 25 or 35 matches?

The October 2019 defeat with Morocco is the only stain attributed to Algeria in more than three years of action since the 1-0 defeat to Benin in the AFCON qualification in October 2018. However, the Algerian Federation does not count as a senior first team record.

This is because the defeat in Morocco came in a competition called the African Nations Cup – popularly known as CHAN, not to be confused with the African Cup of Nations – and CHAN is a tournament that is limited exclusively to players who run their business at home. leagues of each participating country (eg Algerian players who play in the Algerian league). In fact, Fennec Foxes also throws a 0-0 result from the first match of this series against Morocco for the same reason: it did not feature the entire Algerian team, including players from abroad.

Similarly, Algeria does not count the six matches played in the recently concluded December FIFA Arab Cup 2021, because it sent a secondary team to this tournament – top clubs from all over the world did not have to release players to the event. Algeria still won the Arab Cup and did not lose the match (4W-0L-2D). And although these six matches would help consolidate his undefeated series, Algeria will not include them because it did not feature its first team. Fennec Foxes didn’t even send his regular head coach Djamel Belmadi to lead the team.

However, FIFA confirmed to Sporting News that its number is different and pointed to a loss against Morocco. FIFA does not reject CHAN or FIFA Arab Cup results, especially since it was a FIFA tournament.

The table below of Algeria’s matches illustrates how the two organizations do not fully agree in number (asterisks indicate matches at the center of discrepancies):

date Opponent Result Competition Undefeated Streak
(Algerian number)
Undefeated Streak
(number of FIFA)
October 16, 2018 in Benin 0-1 (lost) AFCON qualifier 0 0
November 18, 2018 in Togo 4-1 (win) AFCON qualifier 1 1
December 27, 2018 in Qatar 1-0 (win) Friendly 2 2
March 22, 2019 vs. Gambia 1-1 (draw) AFCON qualifier 3 3
March 26, 2019 vs. Tunisia 1-0 (win) Friendly 4 4
June 11, 2019 vs. Burundi 1-1 (draw) Friendly 5 5
June 16, 2019 vs. Mali 3-2 (win) Friendly 6 6
June 23, 2019 vs. Kenya 2-0 (win) AFCON 2019 7 7
June 27, 2019 vs. Senegal 1-0 (win) AFCON 2019 8 8
July 1, 2019 vs. Tanzania 3-0 (win) AFCON 2019 9 9
July 7, 2019 vs. Guinea 3-0 (win) AFCON 2019 10 10
July 11, 2019 vs. Ivory Coast 1-1 (draw) AFCON 2019 11 11
July 14, 2019 vs. Nigeria 2-1 (win) AFCON 2019 12 12
July 19, 2019 vs. Senegal 1-0 (win) AFCON 2019 13 13
September 9, 2019 vs. Benin 1-0 (win) Friendly 14 14
September 21, 2019 vs. Morocco 0-0 (draw) CHAN qualification 14 * 15
October 10, 2019 vs. DR Congo 1-1 (draw) Friendly 15 16
October 15, 2019 vs. Colombia 3-0 (win) Friendly 16 17
October 19, 2019 in Morocco 0-3 (lost) CHAN qualifier 16 * 0
November 14, 2019 vs. Zambia 5-0 (win) AFCON qualifier 17 1
November 18, 2019 in Botswana 1-0 (win) AFCON qualifier 18 2
October 9, 2020 vs. Nigeria 1-0 (win) Friendly 19 3
October 13, 2020 vs. Mexico 2-2 (draw) Friendly 20 4
November 12, 2020 vs. Zimbabwe 3-1 (win) AFCON qualifier 21 5
November 16, 2020 in Zimbabwe 2-2 (draw) AFCON qualifier 22 6
March 25, 2021 in Zambia 3-3 (draw) AFCON qualifier 23 7
March 29, 2021 vs. Botswana 5-0 (win) AFCON qualifier 24 8
June 3, 2021 vs. Mauritania 4-1 (win) Friendly 25 9
June 6, 2021 vs. Mali 1-0 (win) Friendly 26 10
June 11, 2021 in Tunisia 2-0 (win) Friendly 27 11
June 17, 2021 vs. Liberia 5-1 (win) Friendly 27 * 11 *
September 2, 2021 vs. Djibouti 8-0 (win) World Cup Qual. 28 12
September 7, 2021 in Burkina Faso 1-1 (draw) World Cup Qual. 29 13
October 8, 2021 vs. Niger 6-1 (win) World Cup Qual. 30 14
October 12, 2021 in Niger 4-0 (win) World Cup Qual. 31 15
November 12, 2021 in Djibouti 4-0 (win) World Cup Qual. 32 16
November 16, 2021 vs. Burkina Faso 2-2 (draw) World Cup Qual. 33 17
December 1, 2021 vs. Sudan 4-0 (win) Arab Cup 2021 33 * 18
December 4, 2021 vs. Lebanon 2-0 (win) Arab Cup 2021 33 * 19
December 7, 2021 vs. Egypt 1-1 (draw) Arab Cup 2021 33 * 20
December 11, 2021 vs. Morocco 2-2 (draw) Arab Cup 2021 33 * 21
December 15, 2021 vs. Catarrh 2-1 (win) Arab Cup 2021 33 * 22
December 18, 2021 vs. Tunisia 2-0 (win) Arab Cup 2021 33 * 23
January 5, 2022 vs. Ghana 3-0 (win) Friendly 34 24
January 11, 2022 vs. Sierra Leone 0-0 (draw) AFCON 2022 35 25

The only match that FIFA and Algeria have agreed to exclude is the friendly match against Liberia in June 2021, which, like the FIFA Arab Cup and matches against Morocco, was a secondary team of players and an assistant coach serving as head coach.

This is what the Algerian Federation calls its A ‘team different from its A team (without the apostrophe). Both teams have different sections on the official website, which is a sign that the federation treats them as two different teams.

Algeria was drawn in the AFCON 2022 group with Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea and, based on Algerian figures, would theoretically need only two more positive results to break the Italian record. A draw or victory in the 16th round could lead them to break the record.

Argentine eyes record an unbeaten record

Argentina is also on its own defeat-free series, which includes Lionel Messi’s first major international trophy at Copa America in 2021. Lionel Scaloni’s charges are currently in 27 games and count without tasting the defeat.

Without adding more matches, Argentina has four more South American World Cup qualifiers ahead of it, allowing it to set its own record in the series of invincibility (31) in national team history if it can maintain a flawless record despite a match against. Ecuador March 29. He will need several more matches to catch Italy.

Argentina has already qualified for the 2022 World Cup, with four matches to go. (The Brazil vs. Argentina qualifying match was suspended after 10 minutes by the local health authorities and was not translated.)

The longest series without defeat in international football

So Italy is still at the top of this list, but it is possible that it will be overtaken by Argentina and eventually Algeria. It is remarkable that the three nations are achieving these extended stretches of success at virtually the same time. History has shown that this is not a common phenomenon.

MORE: When will Lionel Messi return from COVID-19?

The list of the longest series without defeat in global football includes some of the world’s largest football countries, including the European and South American powers.

According to the own estimate of the AFCON 2019 champion, Algeria has infiltrated this elite company, although it remains to be seen whether the world authorities will perceive it the same way.

Earth Games
The lane began The series is over Terminated By
Italy 37 (30-0-7) October 10, 2018 October 6, 2021 Spain
Algeria 35 (26-0-9) November 18, 2018
Spain 35 (32-0-3) February 7, 2007 June 24, 2009 United States
Brazil 35 (28-0-7) December 16, 1993 January 21, 1996 Mexico
Argentina 31 (21-0-10) February 20, 1991 August 15, 1993 Colombia
France 30 (22-0-8) February 16, 1994 June 26, 1996 Czech Republic
Italy 30 (24-0-6) November 24, 1935 November 12, 1939 Switzerland
Argentina 27 (18-0-9) July 2, 2019

The question of which matches count and which do not arises for other teams.

The Italian record series in the 1930s, which lasted over 50 years, dropped the match they lost to Austria 2-0 before it was abandoned due to problems with the crowd.

What is controversial about the Brazilian run (1993-96) is that many claim that losing to Mexico in the series should not have been expected because it came in the 1996 CONCACAF Gold Cup final with what was practically a Brazilian under-23 team. preparing for the match. Olympics.

By eliminating the three wins and one losses that Brazil suffered in this Golden Cup in 1996, Brazil would have achieved 40 games without defeat before the next loss by its full strength. But because FIFA officially included these Gold Cup matches in the FIFA rankings, the loss to Mexico could not be thrown away.

The case of Brazil has failed. We will see if Algeria convinces record holders this time.


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