How Algeria's Freedom Fighters Founded a Football Team and Created a Nation

As Algeria faces off against Honduras today at Rio 2016, we look back at the teams origins in the Algerian independence struggle from France.

In 1958, two months before the start of the World Cup to be held in Sweden, the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN), an Algerian independence movement, created the Équipe FLN, a de facto national team for Algeria, which was then still under French rule and thus barred from having a national team. Its players consisted largely of French-born Algerians, some of whom renounced their chance to play in a World Cup. But for them, playing for a free Algeria was more important.

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