November 15, 2019 / 5:05 PM / a month ago

Mahrez excused from Algeria international for personal reasons

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Group C - Atalanta v Manchester City - San Siro, Milan, Italy - November 6, 2019 Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine/File Photo

(Reuters) - Algeria captain Riyad Mahrez has been excused from travelling to Botswana for their African Cup of Nations qualifier on Monday for personal reasons, his coach said on Friday.

Mahrez provided an assist on Thursday as Algeria romped to a 5-0 home win over Zambia in Blida at the start of the 2021 Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Yet he did not travel on Friday for their second game in Group H because of what coach Djamel Belmadi termed “a personal problem that requires us to let him go,” without offering any further explanation.

The Manchester City attacker was one of Algeria’s key figures when they won the 2019 Cup of Nations title in Egypt.

Belmadi did not pick a replacement for the trip to Gaborone.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Toby Davis

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