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AFCON 2021: Senegal thrown a hero’s welcome following victory

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Senegal’s football team have been given a hero’s welcome upon their return home after winning the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time.

Tens of thousands of ecstatic revellers celebrated the players’ return to Dakar, sitting on top of cars and dancing in the capital’s streets.

President Macky Sall was among those greeting the team at the airport.

When coach Aliou Cissé raised the trophy cup from the roof of the team’s victory bus, crowds cheered in delight.

“It’s a street party. I don’t think Senegal has ever seen anything like it,” the BBC’s Emeline Nsingi Nkosi said.

Players were transported inside and on top of a coach along a packed parade route to the centre of Dakar.

One of those among the crowd was 17-year-old student Die Mbaye who described it as an unforgettable moment that will last forever.

“We deserved it, we have been waiting for 60 years,” she told AFP news agency while wearing the Senegalese flag in her hair.

The celebrations began straight after the final whistle on Sunday night, seconds after Liverpool’s Sadio Mane sealed the historic victory over Egypt on penalties.

People poured on to the streets of Dakar, dancing and firing fireworks into the air.

The authorities proceeded to declare Monday a national holiday.

Senegal have narrowly lost two previous finals, in 2019 and 2002, and were favourites to win the tournament this year.

Below are some of the photos illustrating celebrations;

Jubilant crowds in Dakar

Supporters cheer on a bus

National team ride on bus

Supporters surround the bus carrying the national football team in Dakar

Supporters cheer as a member of the Senegalese Football team raises the trophy in Dakar

Senegalese football fans celebrate as they await the return of their national team in Dakar

Senegalese soccer fans celebrate as they await the return of their national football team in Dakar

Senegal striker Famara Diedhiou holds the trophy of the Africa Cup of Nations

Senegalese soccer fans wait to welcome back their team in front of the military airport in Dakar

Senegalese soccer fans celebrate as they await the return of their national team

Supporters cheer as Abdou Diallo, Senegalese defender football player, raises the trophy in Dakar

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