The President of FIFA, Gianni Infantino graced the seventh edition of the African Nations Championships (CHAN) which began with a spectacular opening ceremony and a victory for the hosts at the recently inaugurated Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers, Algeria. He was also present at the stadium’s official inauguration ceremony, which has 40,000 seaters and is located on the south side of the Algerian capital. 


The other dignitaries attended the ceremony, Prime Minister of Algeria H.E. Aimene Benabderrahmane, President of Confederation of African Football (CAF) Patrice Motsepe, President of the Algerian Football Association (FAF) Djahid Zefizef and the grandson of the first President of South Africa Mandla Mandela.


The President of the Algerian Football Association welcomed Africa to the beautiful nation, “Algeria welcomes all of Africa”, while giving his speech during the opening ceremony.


Gianni said “it is a great privilege to be present here tonight for this historic moment in Algerian, and African football history”.


He went ahead to congratulate Algeria, as he said “I congratulate our host Algeria for organizing this African Nations Championship and look forward to the three weeks of wonderful football ahead”.


The opening ceremony began with “Viva l’Algerie” a song by Dounia and Mahfoud, musical artists in the North African country. It also featured a series of cultural displays showcasing the history and traditions of Algeria.


With joy and excitement, fans of Khaled’s famous hit ‘Didi’, a popular rai in the world, and ‘Dana Dana’ by Cheb Rayan sang along in unison while the songs were being performed.  The host nation played its first match against Libya and finished with a 1-0 victory. 


The competition is mainly for domestic-based players and takes place across four Algerian cities, including Algiers, Annaba, Constantine, and Oran.

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