A human tide welcomes the champions in Senegal

A human tide received this Monday in the streets of the capital Dakar the Senegal soccer team, champion on Sunday for the first time in its history of the African Cup of Nations (CAN).

Hundreds of thousands of people were spread out in the arteries of the city and in the vicinity of the Leopold Sedar-Sengor airport, where the new champions of Africa landed, coming from Cameroon, at the end of the afternoon and since a triumphal walk through the city, heading for the presidential palace.

In the streets of Dakar, chants, car horns and celebrations were heard. A large part of the population wore the national colors.

This Monday was declared a holiday by President Macky Sall so that Senegalese fans could show their national pride in the streets.

"It is an unforgettable moment, which will remain forever"said Dié Mbaye, a 17-year-old student dressed in the national team jersey.

On Sunday, like a significant number of his compatriots, he jumped for joy when star Sadio Mané scored the final shootout penalty as Senegal beat Mohamed Salah’s Egypt in the final.

"We deserved it, we’ve been waiting for it for 60 years", he claimed.

On the other side of the street, Mamadou Bocoum, a 24-year-old student, did not hesitate to state that this sporting success "will change life" in the country.

After a few difficult months, of economic crisis, health restrictions and political turmoil, this victory was a "relief", especially for a young population, half of which are under twenty years old, he recalled.

"We have a family that couldn’t experience this Lions title. So it’s a wonderful event, which I have to be at"said Mohamed Ndoye, 31.

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The Senegalese head of state personally went to receive the football team, after having canceled an official visit to Comoros.

"There are times when (political) problems are left to talk about the common cause of the country"President Macky Sall said.

Senegal had lost the two CAN finals it had previously played, in 2002 and 2019. On its third chance, it won the long-awaited first continental title for its ‘Leones de Taranga’.

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