Iraq summons Algerian ambassador after North African supporters sang glory slogans
Iraq's foreign ministry said Monday it had summoned Algeria's ambassador after the North African nation's football supporters sang slogans glorifying former dictator Saddam Hussein during a game in Algiers.
In a statement, ministry spokesman Ahmed Mahjub voiced "the indignation of the government and the Iraqi people (at) the horrible glorification of the regime of murderous dictator Saddam Hussein".
Saddam was deposed in 2003 by a US-led military intervention.
Videos filmed inside the stadium and posted online show Algerian supporters chanting "Allahu akbar (God is greatest)! Saddam Hussein!" After 75 minutes of play, the Iraqi team left the pitch in protest.
Iraq's football federation threatened to pull its teams out of the remainder of the competition and said it "opposed all extremist and sectarian slogans".
"If the Arab Football Federation does not take a decision to restore... respect for Iraqi football, the Iraqi federation will withdraw its clubs," Iraqi football federation president Abdel Khaleq Massud said in a statement.
"Why would we play in front of a sectarian crowd?"