President reward players and coach $870,000 cash and land gifts as a way of motivating them for their sacrifice, determination and hard work throughout the tournament.
Senegal’s President Macky Sall awarded the national football team cash prizes and plots of land for winning the 2021 African Cup of Nations held in Cameroon.
In a ceremony in the presidential palace in the capital Dakar, he also appointed team members to the West African country’s prestigious Order of the Lion, as thousands of fans cheered outside the gates.
Senegal defeated Egypt on penalties to be crowned champions of Africa for the first time in their history which triggered triumphant commemoration across the streets of Dakar on Sunday, February 6.
“By your vital force and your creative genius, you have reversed the course of history,” the president said, standing on a podium beside the Cup of Nations trophy.
“We dreamed of the cup, you built this dream and you made it come true,” he added.
Hundreds of thousands of ecstatic fans also flooded the streets of the city of three million people on Monday – which the government had declared a public holiday – to greet the team as it returned from Cameroon.
Three people lost their lives during the massive celebrations, Sall said.
On Tuesday, he announced a prize of the equivalent of some $87 000 for each team member, as well as a 200 square-metre (2 100 square-foot) plot of land in Dakar, and a 500 square-metre (5 400 square-foot) plot in the nearby city of Diamniadio.
“There are no words to express you to our pride, our joy and our gratitude,” Sall said.
The president also urged Senegal coach Aliou Cisse to lead his team to the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup, held in Qatar.