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Senegal footballers awarded huge pieces of land, Sh9.8 million each after AFCON victory

Senegal's President Macky Sall speaks with Sadio Mane and Kalidou Koulibaly as he welcomes the Senegal National Soccer Team upon their arrival after their Africa Cup of Nations win, at the Leopold Sedar Senghor Airport, in Dakar, Senegal February 7, 2022. [Reuters, Zohra Bensemra]

The Lions of Teranga’s comeback home has been made more special after Senegal president Macky Sall on Tuesday awarded each player a plot of land in Dakar.

Each player has also received $87,000 (Sh9.8 million) for their feats in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), along with the prestigious Order of the Lion recognition.

In a ceremony held in the presidential palace, President Sall expressed delight at what the team had accomplished, noting they had changed the course of history.

“In addition, as a token of gratitude, and on behalf of the nation, the players and other members of the official delegation will each receive a special bonus of 50 million franc CFA (Sh9.8 million) and a 200 square metre plot of land in Dakar,” said Sall.

The team will also receive a 500-square-metre plot in the nearby city of Diamniadio.

"There are no words to express you to our pride, our joy and our gratitude," the president added.

The streets of Dakar erupted in celebration after the Lions of Teranga beat Egypt 4-1 on post-match penalties in the Africa Cup of Nations final.

Liverpool star Mane stole the show as Senegal washed away their AFCON final hoodoo to win the first-ever trophy at the Paul Biya Olembe Stadium.

Mane, had fluffed his lines earlier in the game after missing a penalty in the seventh minute, after a foul inside the area by Mohamed Abdelmonem.

The West Africans were dominant throughout the game and kept the Egyptian goalkeeper Abou Gabal ‘Gabanski’ on his toes from the opening whistle. 

Each Senegal player will receive $87,000 (Sh9.8 million) [Reuters, Zohra Bensemra]

Gabanski, has been outstanding in the tournament, considering he came in for an injured Mohamed El Shenawy and was harbouring an injury himself.

For head coach Aliou Cisse, this was a long road to victory. Managing Senegal for 8 years, a record by an African coach. Cisse was part of the squad that lost 2002 final. He also watched in pain as his team surrendered the AFCON trophy to North Africans Algeria in 2019.

“I am African champion. It was long, it was difficult, sometimes complicated, but we never gave up. “I dedicate this victory to the Senegalese people. For years, we have been chasing this cup. Today we will be able to put a star on our jersey,” said an elated Cisse.

Senegal now shifts focus to the World Cup 2022, where they still have to play Egypt in a two-legged qualifier in March