Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Algeria Opens Its Doors To Welcome Africa Again

For the second time in just under three months, Algeria will open its doors to the African continent again, as it hosts the TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), shortly after hosting the TotalEnergies Africa Nations Championship (CHAN).

The excitement is growing in Algeria, as the birth of the next generation of stars begins in the North African country, where 12 teams are set to battle for the ultimate prize, as well as an opportunity to qualify for the FIFA U17 World Cup.

The organization is top notch, from the Houari Boumédiène Airport in Algiers to the different venues in the capital, Annaba and Constantine, understating the readiness of the land of the greats Riyad Mahrez, Ismail Bennacer among others to midwife the birth of Africa’s next crop of world hitters.

This is the fifth time in its history that Algeria is hosting a Continental event, and the second time it is hosting the U17 showpiece having done so in 2009. They also hosted, and won, the 1990 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and the U23 edition in 2013.

The excitement among locals to witness pulsating football is top notch, with locals across all three host cities explaining their excitement ahead of the matches.

“We look forward to it starting here because it will be a privilege for us to welcome Africa and to be able to attend the matches,” said Mohamed, a resident of Annaba.

He adds; “Welcoming Africa is a huge privilege for us. We have successfully organized CHAN. Everyone saw that it was the best CHAN in history. Our hope is that our country will host more competitions because we are a great football nation in Africa.”

In Constantine, roads are adorned with flags of all the 12 participating nations and signboards are all over the town, announcing the imminent start of the tournament.

The 23,000 seater Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium is getting spruced up with all the necessary branding, the excitement even among the workers at the venues hitting feverpitch.

And of course, the enthusiasm among the supporters is that they will enjoy the benefits of hosting the tournament, by going all the way to win it. The pain of losing the CHAN final to Senegal is still fresh on their minds, and they hope, lightning will not strike twice in the same place.

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