Wed, 11 Dec 2019

Cairo - Algeria ready for 'match of a lifetime' - Guedioura

Mahfoud Amara, a professor of social sciences and sport management at the University of Qatar, told the political demonstrations at games trace their history further back.

"Since the 1970s-1980s stadia have been a place for political expression in Algeria, maybe more so than other countries where there are more checks and censorship," Amara said.

"It's where you can challenge the establishment, deconstruct the taboos of Algeria."

The fans, Amara said, "contributed, a little bit, to the voice of the people at a time when there was a weariness with the political system".

The political activism of fans has made football metaphors such as "It's not a match, no to additional time," and "People 3, Power 0" common on the streets of Algerian cities.

An additional 4 800 Algerians will arrive in Cairo for the final on military planes organised by Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, who has also been a target of the demonstrations.

Those supporters who have already helped claim a political victory over Bouteflika this year will now roar their country on as they aim to win their first Cup of Nations since 1990.

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