French Ligue 1 side Nantes have terminated the contract of Algerian youngster, Younes Benali, for taking part in U-17 AFCON tournament.
The club reportedly took the decision to end Benali’s contract after he defied the club to take part in the ongoing U-17 AFCON which is hosted by the North African country.
The tournament kicked off on Saturday, 30th of April, and the young lad is said to have joined the Algeria U-17 squad to take part in the tournament.
The decision to terminate his contract came just days after Nantes lost Coup de France final to Toulouse and the youngster is said to have played for the club in the competition.
According to reports, Nantes did not hide their opposition against Ben Ali’s decision to play in the African Youth tournament.
The club maintained the competition is not in FIFA Calendar and the youngster needed not defy his contract terms to take part in the tournament without the approval of the club.
French media reports Benali had pushed to play in the tournament despite the opposition from the club. He reportedly submitted a request to the club but it was turned down.
According to RMC Sports, Nantes have terminated the contract of Benali after the later joined his country for the tournament.
Younes Benali has equally confirmed the rumors but has refused to sign the drafted amendment to his contract by Nantes to terminate it.
“This year, I had the opportunity to reprensent my country, Algeria“, Ben Ali said. “Not everybody has that chance. It’s a great pride. With the club, we disagreed on some points. But I respected what I had to do. I made the choice to respect my country, and I want my choice to be respected”.
Younes Benali was part of the Algeria U-17 squad that defeated Somalia 2-0 in the opening game and is set to continue in the tournament when Algeria take on Senegal in their second game at 17:00 today, May 2.
As of the time of filing this report, Nantes are yet to comment on the rumor of the terminated contract.
Who is Younes Benali?
Younes Benali, born on 14 August, 2006 is a 16-year-old Algerian youth player, playing for French Ligue 1 youth side Nantes U-17.
Younes Benali plays as a defensive midfield for Nantes U-17 and the Algerian youth team.
Younes Benali Nantes contract
As a teen, Younes Benalis Nantes was yet to sign a professional contract with Nantes. His contract with the youth side remained off the media.
The youngster confirmed he has been playing for Nantes since he was a kid and was taken aback by the news of the contract termination.
However, reports from French media revealed he was at loggerheads with Nantes U-17 coach, Frances Liaigre.
Younes Benali decision is said to have shocked even his agent as he kept his stand to play in the tournament despite the club’s objection.
Benali’s plight underscores the challenge facing youngsters making inroads into the game of football. They always come into collision with their clubs when trying to carve a place for themselves with the national side from the youth level.
Recently, Manchester United turned deaf ears to pleas by Argentina U-20 coach, Pablo Zabaleta, asking the club to release fast-rising youngster, Alejandro Garnacho, for Argentina U-20 World Cup assignment.
In Younes Benali’s case, although the tournament in question is not recognized in FIFA Calendar, Nantes decision still remains controversial.
Do you think Nantes is right to have terminated the contract of Younes Benali?