Afcon 2021: Senegal declares public holiday after historic win

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Festivities erupted in Dakar following the win against Egypt

Senegal has declared Monday a national holiday to celebrate winning its first ever Africa Cup of Nations.

Celebrations erupted in the capital, Dakar, after Liverpool's Sadio Mane sealed victory over Egypt on penalties.

"When the win came, it was just indescribable. People just jumping on their feet, crying, hugging each other," a BBC reporter in Dakar said.

A triumphal reception is expected when the victorious team returns home from Cameroon later on Monday.

Tens of thousands of jubilant fans took to the streets of Dakar late into the night on Sunday, waving national flags, dancing and firing fireworks into the air.

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The African Renaissance statue park where tens of thousands of Senegalese gathered to watch their team beat Egypt

"We waited a long time. [The cup] is finally here. We really needed it," ecstatic fan Modou Ba, 25, told the AFP news agency.

There were also scenes of jubilation in the French capital, Paris, home to a large Senegalese community. Thousands of celebrating supporters gathered at the Arc du Triomphe.

The winning penalty was scored by captain Sadio Mane, who shared this photo of him in bed with the trophy, wearing a winners' medal.

Senegalese President Macky Sall cut short a foreign tour to hold an official reception for the African champions on Tuesday.

In a tweet, he congratulated the team, saying: "What a game! What a team! You did it. Beautiful moment of football, beautiful moment of communion and national pride. Congratulations to our heroes."

Image source, EPA

Image caption,

Senegal won its first ever African Cup of Nations after a penalty shootout against seven-times winners Egypt

Senegal were twice runners up, in 2019 and 2002, and were favourites to win the tournament this year.

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