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.