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Tens of thousands of ecstatic Senegalese crowded the streets around Léopold-Sédar-Senghor airport on Monday, awaiting the Cameroon national football team’s return after winning the Coupe d’Azur for the first time. Africa of nations, noted AFP journalists.
Jubilation never ceases to invade Dakar, the Senegalese capital, Monday, February 7. The country is experiencing a moment in footballing history: on Sunday, the Teranga Lions were crowned kings of Africa for the first time, after beating Egypt on penalties at the end of the final of the African Cup of Nations (CAN).
The arrival of the national team, scheduled for Monday afternoon, drained hours in advance of a dense and noisy flow extending as far as the eye could see on the axes leading to the heart of the city at the old airport platform, which no longer used except for exceptional occasions or military and presidential transport.
Sadio Mané’s teammates put an end, Sunday evening, in Cameroon to the interminable wait of an entire ball-mad country by winning on penalties against multi-winner Egypt the first continental title since the first participation of the Senegal at the CAN more than 50 years ago.
Night of jubilation, holiday
“We have parents who were unable to attend a Lions coronation. So it’s a wonderful event in which I must take part”, ignited Mohamed Ndoye, 31, driver, in the midst of supporters in green colors , gold and red, in a din of horns, whistles and songs.
The tension continued to mount during the day, a deafening roar gradually covering different parts of the city, while uncertainty remained over the arrival time of the players. Everyone expected that the new African champions would parade in the streets through the popular districts of the capital.
The Head of State, who had returned on purpose, was to meet them at the airport after having canceled an official visit to the Comoros.