Algeria Football Association president Kheireddine Zetchi has insisted that only 'motivated' players will be selected for the national fold in the future, after it emerged that Leicester City's Islam Slimani and Riyad Mahrez were both set to miss-out during the next international break.
Despite starring in the Foxes' triumphant 2-0 victory over Liverpool in the third-round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday - with Slimani netting a thunderbolt - both Slimani and Mahrez will seemingly not be selected by Algeria coach Lucas Alvarez, a decision which is fairly baffling when considering their recent form for their club.
Zetchi - speaking at a meeting with some of the presidents of the Algerian regional leagues (via L'Expression) - said: “Only motivated players will be called up in the future. Whoever comes and plays here needs to always put the interest of the national team above everything”.
It's said that Mahrez and Slimani both contacted Zetchi on Monday to get some answers and explanations, although he kept the details of the conversations close to his chest to stop the media from finding out exactly what was said.
After losing three of their last four World Cup qualifiers, the 'Fennec Foxes' are unable to qualify for next summer's tournament in Russia, and it's thought that Alcaraz's decision to leave the Blues duo out of the set-up is purely to give other aspiring professionals the opportunity to exemplify their talents against Cameroon.
In order to push through a deadline day move away from the King Power, Mahrez was granted permission to stay in Europe by the Algerian FA, but, however, with a deal not being struck, the Algerian FA retracted their original statement of permission closer to deadline hour once it became clear that the attacker would not be moving.
Perhaps in Mahrez's case it could simply be a repercussion of his own decision to walk away from his national fold when they needed him to show his solidarity the most.