Algerian duo could face World Cup bans

JOHANNESBURG - The Confederation of African Football (CAF) will next week decide on the punishment for two Algerian footballers sent off at the African Nations Cup in Angola, which could affect their chances of playing at the World Cup finals, officials said on Tuesday.

English-based wing-back Nadir Belhadj and goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouchi face possible lengthy bans after incidents in their Nations Cup semi-final against Egypt in Benguela on January 28.

Belhadj could be banned for up to four matches for a violent two-footed tackle which earned him a red card in the second half of the match.

A four-match ban would effectively ruin his chances of being included in Algeria's squad for the World Cup finals from June 11 to July 11.

Chaouchi faces a even longer sanction for a head butt on referee Bonaventure Coffi Codjia in the first half of a tempestuous game that Algeria lost 4-0 after going down to eight men.

The goalkeeper was sent off late in the game after an accumulation of two yellow cards, though not for the head-butting incident.

The referee's failure to act or to report the incident afterwards has led to him being removed from the panel for the World Cup in South Africa.

CAF said the players were entitled to attend the hearing which would take place in Cairo on either Monday or Tuesday.