Algerian pair face lengthy bans
Nadir Belhadj and Faouzi Chaouchi could miss Algeria's World Cup campaign if they are hit with bans.
By Danny Wright
Last Updated: 23/02/10 6:52pm
Portsmouth defender Nadir Belhadj could be facing a four-game ban for the Algerian national side after he was sent off during the African Cup of Nations.
Belhadj was dismissed for a two-footed lunge in his side's semi-final against Egypt in Benguela last month and is awaiting his fate from governing body the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
A four-game suspension would hinder the left-back's chances of inclusion in the Algeria squad for the World Cup finals in South Africa.
The Algerians have been drawn alongside the United States and England in Group C, meaning the 27-year-old could miss the chance of pitting his wits against his regular Premier League opponents on the international stage.
Team-mate and goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouchi is facing an even longer ban after he head-butted referee Bonaventure Coffi Codjia in the first half of the same game that Algeria lost 4-0 after going down to eight men.
Chaouchi did not receive a direct red card for the incident, but was instead sent off late in the game after an accumulation of two yellow cards.
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 finals which commence on 11th June.
CAF said the players were entitled to attend a hearing to decide their fate which would take place in Cairo on Monday or Tuesday next week.