Senegal declared a National holiday to celebrate the first AFCON final victory

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The president of Senegal, Macky Sall has declared a public holiday to celebrate the victory of the country’s national team in the AFCON final against Egypt on Sunday, February 6, 2022.

Senegal went into the tournament as favorites and maintained that status throughout the tournament even though they recorded two draws in the group stage.

Before now, Senegal have never won an AFCON final. They made it to the final of the tournament in 2002 and the current coach of the team, Aliou Cissé missed a decisive penalty that prevented them from winning the title. They also made it to an AFCON final in 2019 but they could not beat Algeria.

Senegal players celebrate with coach Aliou Cissé.
Senegal players celebrate with coach Aliou Cissé.

The last edition of the tournament was Senegal’s second successive AFCON final. Despite the historical prowess of Egypt in the tournament which they have won a record seven times, Senegal were able to defeat them 4-2 on penalties.

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Senegal’s goalkeeper Édouard Mendy of Chelsea saved one of the shots to establish him as the best goalkeeper in the tournament. While Senegal’s Sadio Mane of Liverpool scored the tournament’s decider to establish himself as the best player in the tournament.

The victory over Egypt became a source of festivity across the whole of Senegal to the extent the president of the country who keenly followed the match took to his Twitter page to react.

Senegalese gathered in Senegal to celebrate AFCON victory.
Senegalese gathered in Senegal to celebrate AFCON victory.

The president tweeted: “African champions. What a game! What a team! You did it. A beautiful moment of football, a beautiful moment of communion and national pride. Congratulations to our heroes.”

President Macky Sall was so excited about the victory that he had to cancel his planned official trip to Comoros just to celebrate the triumph of his national team.

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To make every resident of the country partake in the celebration, the president declared Monday, February 7, 2022, as a paid national holiday.

A national broadcasting outfit in the country, RTS said: “The president of the republic declared Monday a public holiday, a paid day off, following the brilliant victory of the Lions.”

The media outfit also said the president has planned to welcome the team to the country and host them at the presidential palace in Dakar on Tuesday, February 8, 2022. Sall is expected to doctorate and give the players national honors during the meeting.

After the celebration, Senegal are expected to turn their attention to the FIFA World Cup playoffs. Before the 2021 AFCON final, they have been paired to play the 2 legged play-offs against Egypt.

The AFCON champions will visit Egypt on March 23 for the first leg of the play-off. On March 29, they will host Egypt for the last phase of the play-off.

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