Women embrace TotalEnergies CHAN 2022 in Algeria


For the first time ever, women have flocked stadiums in their thousands in Algeria to watch and enjoy football games thanks to the TotalEnergies African Nations Championship (CHAN) 2022.

From Algiers to Annaba, Constantine and Oran, the seventh edition of the CHAN has created an atmosphere and platform that girls and women have embraced to become a regular sight at the stadiums across Algeria.

From the long queues at the security check points on the outside of the stadiums to the entrance of the stands and the stands themselves, girls and women have become more and more comfortable in filling up the stadiums to enjoy the football on display.

They are not only in attendance, but they are providing the colour with their different shades of outfits as always – green, blue, white, orange and red head gear or cashmere jackets or even gloves. They dance to the songs that blur out of the stadium. They cheer on the team with so much passion with warmth and elegance.


On January 16, when Cameroon faced Congo at the Miloud Hadefi Stadium, little did we know that away from the victory of the Indomitable Lions, a little heroine was born.

Caught up in the mood of the game, seven-year-old Nihel was caught on camera doing what she does best – enjoying herself in a football stadium at the CHAN, dancing away to the deejay’s tunes.

Little did she know that she was being captured by the cameras in the stands and that the video would go viral. Over 10 million views on social media! Wow!

According to her dad Samir, Nihel loves to dance.

"As soon as she listens to music, she starts moving. It is automatic with her,” he said.

And at her young age, Nihel has officially become the new ambassador of Algerian football.

We love football but we mistakenly thought that the stadium was a place reserved for men Jasmine

“I really like football. When my father told me that we were going to the stadium, I was very happy,” she exclaims with an ear-to-ear smile that shines a light on her soul.

A few days later, she was invited to Algiers by CAF to attend the quarter-final between Algeria and Côte d'Ivoire. Having become the darling of the Algerian team, she offered a word of encouragement to the Desert Foxes one by one as they entered the locker room, just after the warm-up.

“I hope they will win today,” she confessed before receiving the official competition ball from African Football Legend Herita Ilunga.

Like Nihel's dad, Mahmoud came with his two granddaughters Amira and Dounia.

“For some time, they have been asking me to come to the stadium. I dressed them very warmly and we came. You know, they usually talk a lot but here they are silent, admiring. They absolutely want to see the players. It is nice to share this passion with them,” Mahmoud told CAFOnline.


“We needed this event,” explains Anaïs, who came to the Nelson Mandela stadium in Baraki, accompanied by her best friend Hadil.

“We love football but we mistakenly thought that the stadium was a place reserved for men,” admits Jasmine, before adding that “Seeing a match on television and experiencing it at the stadium are two completely different things. It is an experience that each of us must feel and feel in the stadium.”

With an Algerian jersey on, Samira intends to support the Desert Foxes with all her heart and voice joining in on the fan anthems as they cheer on Madjid Bougherra’s side.

“This is the fourth game I have attended at the stadium. It has become like a civic act now. I have to support my country, my team - Algeria. You know, CHAN is a great opportunity for us as Algeria. We are showing the beautiful and true image of our country, which is a welcoming and loving nation,” Samira explains passionately.

Algeria will now face Senegal on Saturday, February 4 at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Baraki, Algiers in a repeat of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final.