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Arabic press review: 'I am a Palestinian,' says football legend Maradona

Argentine star praises Palestine's president, immigrants win World Cup for France and Le Pen calls for a ban on Algerians
Maradona and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas embrace in Russia (Instagram)

Maradona: 'Abbas has a proper and legitimate country'

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona expressed his solidarity with the Palestinian people, saying "I am a Palestinian", al-Quds al-Arabi reports.

A video released over the weekend shows Maradona making the comment after hugging Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the World Cup final in Russia.

"This man wants peace for Palestine," Maradona wrote on his Instagram account. "President Abbas has a proper and legitimate country."

Abbas attended Sunday's World Cup final between France and Croatia, along with several other world leaders.

Immigrants score goals for France

Half the goals the French team scored on their way to victory in the World Cup final over Croatia on Sunday were scored by the sons of African immigrants, news website Arabi21 highlights in a report

Kylian Mbappe, whose father is from Cameroon and mother is Algerian, and Paul Pogba, whose parents are Guinean, scored the final two French goals in Les Bleus' 4-2 win.

The two, who were both born in France, are among 16 of 23 players on the team with foreign origins. 

Le Pen: Ban Algerians from entering France 

France’s National Front leader Marine Le Pen has called on authorities to stop granting entry visas to Algerians and to restrict the transfer of funds by Algerian migrants into their country, according to the Algerian newspaper Echorouk el-Yawmi.

Le Pen's comments were a response to Algeria's refusal to accept Djemal Beghal, a former French citizen of Algerian origin who mentored Amedy Coulibaly and Charlie Hebdo shooter Cherif Kouachi, and who has been convicted of multiple terrorism-related offences. Beghal is set to be released from a French prison later this year.

Le Pen said it was troubling that France was unable to force Algeria to receive one of its own citizens. 

"This is a matter of concern for the degree of French influence... and the loss of the power of the French decision and its international credibility," she said.

* Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.

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