Political grief flares up in North African soccer stadiums

Sport

Political grief flares up in North African soccer stadiums

Youths faced with inequalities and curbs on freedom voice their frustrations and rejection of corruption

AFP

From Casablanca to Algiers via Tunis, the chants belted out across football stadiums echo young North African fans’ frustrations not connected to the highs and lows of the beautiful game.

Chants of F’bladi delmouni! (Oppressed in my country!) at the demonstrations that have been commonplace in Algeria since last year originated on the noisy terraces manned by the ultras of Morocco’s Raja Casablanca.

The song of the club’s “Ultras Eagles” has notched up close to nine million hits on YouTube. On match days, the chant is bellowed to the accompaniment of drumbeats, smoke bombs and elaborate, choreographed displays...

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