Senegal arrive home to hundreds of thousands of fans


Senegal arrived home on Monday after winning the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), to hundreds of thousands of ecstatic fans.

Massive crowds of supporters descended on a military airport in the Western African country’s capital Dakar, blowing vuvuzelas and waving flags, to celebrate the victory.

President Macky Sall was waiting at the airport to greet the returning players, who then paraded through thronged streets sitting on top of a bus, on their way to the presidential palace.

Senegal overcame Mohamed Salah’s Egypt 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out in Sunday’s final in Cameroon. The game had finished goalless after extra time.

The victory was the country’s first success in the tournament, and sparked jubilant celebrations across the capital city of three million people on Sunday evening which continued on Monday.

The government had declared Monday a public holiday in order to celebrate the occasion.

“This is an unforgettable moment that will last forever,” said Die Mbaye, a 17-year-old school student near the presidential palace.

“We deserved it, we have been waiting for 60 years,” Mbaye added.

“Our life is going to change,” said Mamadou Bocoum, a 24-year-old student standing nearby.

Such an intense outpouring of emotion has not been seen for years in Senegal, a Muslim-majority nation of 17 million people that is better known for its reserved culture.

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