Harond Litim, the captain and coach of the amazing Algerian ice hockey team, nurtures international dreams for his team. But the mountain seems too high to climb.
“You are Read Rasta Rocket quoi ! As in a snowball fight, Harond Litim made this remark to his face the first time he went to appeal to the Algerian state through the consul in Vitry (a suburb of Paris) to help his ice hockey team. However, the former Every player, who still laughs about it today, has no qualms, taking the cinematographic reference whenever he talks about his team.
The Algerian government is not recognized as a federation
Jokingly, the Algerian ice hockey team, which started in 2008, has now been recognized by the International Ice Hockey Federation since September 2019, and intends to develop and integrate official international competitions.
First it was necessary to convince the Algerian government of the “use” of a team of fennecs sliding across the snow. After Vitry’s consul, Harond Littim, former president of the Algerian Olympic Committee, answered: ” But there is no ice rink in Algeria! »
« What are we waiting for? Do”, retorts the hockey player born and raised in Etampes, a suburb of Paris. ” There are more important things to do in Algeria than an ice rink… »
A not easy answer for Harond Littim, born to an Algerian father from Constantine. ” The International Ice Hockey Federation recognizes us, but our government does not. Today, we have no help from the Algerian state because we are only recognized as an association and not as a federation. That is the big problem “, he explains.
Meanwhile, the team insists on 100% bi-national players playing in France (“60% of the workforce”), Canada (30%), England, Switzerland and Sweden. It thus won its first match in an official match against Andorra (14-5) in the Development Cup organized in Füssen (Germany) last May.
The Development Cup, a one-of-a-kind international tournament, brings together six new ice hockey nations like Algeria. Litim and friends beat Portugal after Andorra (7-6) before losing to Ireland.
« We are aiming to qualify for the World Championship »
A new experience in the evolution of the Algerian team created 12 years ago. ” The origin of this team is Karim KerbooshLitim remembers. He himself was an ice hockey player. One day, he saw Joseph Boumedienne on television playing in Toronto (Canada). He said to himself: “If there is a Boumedian in this team, there must be other Algerians practicing this sport elsewhere in the world”. He contacted me and we made a selection with other players in France and that was it ».
After that, the greens are calibrated through invitational tournaments around the world: Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Canada, etc. But Harond Littim, who dreams of a bigger stage, has very little.
« Me, I’m madLaughs the Chambery player-coach who is not yet thinking about retiring at the age of 44. We are aiming for qualifications for the world championships, Olympic qualifications, although I admit it is impossible. But give us a chance to represent our country to qualify for the next World Cup. In the next five years, I see participation in international qualifications. »
Travel fan. Freelance analyst. Proud problem solver. Infuriatingly humble zombie junkie.