Algerian football championship final standings remain in suspense
By Nazim Fethi for Magharebia in Algiers – 20/04/06
With just few days left to the season, the Algerian first-division football championship is still a nail-biter. JS Kabylie's 1-0 home defeat on 13 April to ASO Chlef was the second it suffered in a week after it lost to CR Belouizdad 2-1. The two slips by the leader have helped its closest rival, USM Alger, which is now within two points of the lead with a more favourable remaining schedule.
USM Alger, Algerian champions for the last two seasons, has made no secret of its intention to defend its title to the bitter end. Speculation is rife and the suspense looks set to remain until the very end of the season.
The top of the standings is not the only place that a battle is taking place, however. . Apart from US Biskra, which has lost all hope of staying in the first division, at least six other teams are in danger.
“Teams threatened with relegation are in a similar state of uncertainty”
The remaining days of the championship season should see tight skirmishes between these teams, who know that three among them will be relegated to the second division at the end of the season.
Another battle exists to qualify for the African and Arab Champions League, with places will go to the teams finishing from second to fifth, eight teams are still fighting it out for the four places.
The current season is the first time in a decade that the Algerian football championship has seen such tension. Over the last few years, the title has been won well before the end of the championship, usually by a large margin.
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