ALGIERS – A former international French football player who currently coaches Algerian premier league’s Laghouat Club has embraced Islam, officially announcing his decision during last Friday prayer.
In a surprise move, François Bracci, who has built a track record at Olympique de Marseille and Strasbourg, announced the shahada (declaration of faith) last Friday, Algerian daily information réflexiondz.net reported.
According to media reports, the news caused great joy among many young people who have congratulated the new Muslim.
Bracci has been coaching soccer teams in the North African countries of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria since 2003.
The 63-year-old says he has learned about Islam and its teachings during these years in the three Muslim countries. Following an extensive study about the religion, he embraced Islam.
Along with his achievements with French teams Olympique de Marseille and Strasbourg, Bracci was selected in the France team for 1978 World Cup in Argentina.
Bracci is not the first football coach to revert to Islam while coaching in Algeria.
Previously, Kasr el Hiran, Christian manager of Algeria’s Shabab football team had converted to Islam.