Algerian influencer Sofia Benlemmane has been arrested at the request of the Algerian ambassador in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, for making racist comments during AFCON 2023.
She was apprehended on January 15th at the stadium by the Rapid Intervention Brigade due to her remarks against Ivory Coast.
In a video, she can be heard uttering the following words:
“Ivory Coast, a miserable country… the Ivorians live in poverty worse than the prehistoric era.”
• #CAN2023 | La supportrice algérienne qui avait traité la Côte d’Ivoire de pays miserable, a été arrêtée à Bouaké et sera extradée.
Une supportrice et activiste algérienne, Sofia Benlemmane présente pour assister à la Coupe d’Afrique des Nations (CAN) 2023, a été appréhendée… pic.twitter.com/MitZQ78q7V
— Chroniques 225 (@Chroniques225) January 17, 2024
As a result, she has been expelled from Ivory Coast and banned for life.
Video of her arrest
L'arrestation de Sofia Benlemmane 🇩🇿 avant son expulsion de Côte d'Ivoire pic.twitter.com/QvjWwURYEP
— Dresseur de Pangolin (@dresseurdechien) January 16, 2024
This is not the first time she has garnered negative attention. In a throwback to 2022, when Cameroon defeated Algeria to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Algerians accused the referee of cheating. Sofia Benlemmane traveled to Gambia with a French passport in an attempt to confront referee Gassama and “extract” a confession from him. She was subsequently arrested by Gambian authorities.
Sofia Benlemmane gained notoriety for being the first Algerian supporter to invade the pitch at the Stade de France during the France-Algeria friendly match in 2001.
She was convicted by French justice.