Arab Cup

Football in Algeria from the “Black Decade” to the Hirak

When Algeria defied the odds to win the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019, many Algerians heralded the moment as a victory for more than just football. The team’s previous and only win on the international stage had been in 1990 and was followed by a decade of civil unrest that ended with Bouteflika’s election in 1999. The 2019 victory, meanwhile, came on the heels of the months-long Hirak protests ousting Bouteflika after nearly 20 years in power. Mahfoud Amara explores Algerian football’s swinging fortunes as they mirror political tensions and transformations leading up to and following the Hirak.


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