Since March, athlete Taoufik Makhloufi has not been able to leave South Africa where he trained for the Tokyo Olympics. The master started an angry cry on social networks to condemn the immobility of the Algerian authorities.
Taoufik Makhloufi has chosen to share his bitterness on social networks. In a message posted on Facebook and Twitter on Saturday, July 4, the 1500m Olympic champion in London says he has been stuck since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa.
“It has been four months since I got stranded in South Africa, neither repatriation nor even a gesture that comes close to it from the Algerian state to allow me to return to the country,” writes sportsman, condemning the inability of the Algerian authorities to find a solution. “This shows that I am a bit regarded, as an Algerian citizen and even as an Olympic champion who raised the national colors high. If I decided to express what I feel, it is not to arouse the compassion of whoever it is is, at any level, he adds.
This is not the first time the 32-year-old athlete, dual bronze medalist in Rio, is warning about his situation. Since the arrest began, he has not been able to leave South Africa, where he was in preparation for the Tokyo Games, now shot to 2021, in the company of French athletes who themselves, have been returned. In June last year, he was ironic by publishing a message in which he imagined traveling across Africa to be able to return to his country.
Many stranded athletes
As the Algerian newspaper El Watan states, Taoufik Makhloufi is not the only one experiencing this complicated situation. “Ten Algerian athletes, including five from the military sample, have been stranded in the Kenyan capital Nairobi for almost five months,” the newspaper said. “But their situation is completely different as they are well taken care of by the Algerian ambassador to Kenya. She has been mobilized to accommodate athletes at a luxury hotel located in the Nairobi residential area.”
According to the website ObservAlgeria, fifty Algerian athletes are also stranded in Saudi Arabia, including football coach Kheireddine Madoui, who demands their return.
In response to Taoufik Maklofi’s cry of anger, the Algerian Youth and Sports Minister, Sid Ali Khaldi, on Saturday in a Facebook message indicated that his guardianship is monitoring the situation of sportsmen who are stranded abroad and in particular that of the Olympic champion: “I am constantly contact with him. MJS did not review funds to assure him total care in Johannesburg, South Africa, as well as other athletes stranded on Nairobi in Kenya and swimmers who are in Montreal. “
The Minister said that “despite the difficult situation and the closure of most airports around the world due to the health crisis, we will do everything to return our athletes as soon as possible”.