The Algerian regime forced North Africans to stop supporting the Algerian football team

Algeria team photo during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifier between Algeria and Niger held at Mustapha Tchaker Stadium in Blida, Algeria on October 8, 2021 © Sports Inc
Photo by Icon Sport

Against a backdrop of deepening economic and social crisis coupled with the repression of dissent, the Algerian military regime has sought to change course by using the national football team to distract from the country’s real problems. Puppet President Teboune and Algerian kingmaker and army chief Chengriha have put too much pressure on the national team by turning players into soldiers.

The military junta’s use of the national football team and the arrogant tone of Algerian officials have caused a large part of the Moroccan people, but also Tunisians and Egyptians, to stop supporting the Algerian football team.

Led by coach Belmadi, defending champions Algeria exited the Africa Cup of Nations with a humiliating defeat to Ivory Coast.

Unlike previous years, the cheers in Moroccan cafes were in favor of the Ivory Coast.

This shift in Moroccan sentiment is also partly due to the Algerian regime’s acts of hostility against Morocco.

Algeria unilaterally severed relations and banned Moroccan flights from crossing its airspace, in addition to ending a gas supply agreement.

Algerian media and sports commentators have also managed to make the Algerian football team unpopular by turning sports games into wars with an arrogant tone that belittles all other rival teams.

The Algerian media also bluntly broadcast vox pops showing the contempt of some Algerians towards African teams whose football victories have been pinned down with black magic in a blatant disrespect for other African football teams.

With the Algerian team’s early departure from the African tournament, the Algerian military regime has lost a tool it has long used to distract the Algerian people from their real problems: inflation, poverty and unemployment.

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