Algerian FA Distances Itself from Riyad Mahrez Medication Concerns

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City talks to Riyad Mahrez prior to the FA Community Shield match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on August 04, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

The Algerian Football Federation have dismissed concerns about medication taken by Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez whilst on international duty. 

City omitted the Algeria captain from their squad to play Liverpool in the FA Community Shield at Wembley Stadium on Sunday because of fears he might fail a drugs test.

The 28-year-old featured for his country at the Africa Cup of Nations in July, skippering Algeria to victory in Egypt, but Pep Guardiola said club doctors could not confirm the medicines taken by the player during the competition.

According to BBC Sport, the Algerian FA have stated they do not believe there is any issue for them to resolve.

"This is a non-event from the moment the player took the medications after the Africa Cup of Nations," said the FAF. "It is a problem for Manchester City."

Guardiola explained why he had to leave out Mahrez after City's 5-4 penalty shootout win in the Community Shield, per Mark Critchley of The Independent.

"Riyad called me just after being [crowned] champion with Algeria and said: 'I want to come back in 10 days, I want to play against Liverpool'. I said: 'You are more than welcome, it's perfect you come.'

"But we don't have what he took, about the medicine. That's why, for doping control, today was a risk because the doctors didn't have it. That's why he wasn't in the squad to play some minutes.

"He could have played some minutes but we could not take a risk because the doctors did not have exactly the medicines.

"Hopefully he will be back next game against West Ham and in the future everything will be normal."

The former Leicester City forward scored three goals in seven appearances at the AFCON, and produced a stunning level of consistency in the competition, with Algeria defeating Senegal 1-0 in the final.