President lines up banquet for triumphant Lions

The triumphant Cameroon's Indomitable Lions team members arriving at the Yaoundé's Nsimalen International Airport from Libreville, Gabon on February 5, 2017. NDI EUGENE NDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Cameroonian President Paul Biya and his wife Chantal are Wednesday scheduled to host the triumphant Indomitable Lions to banquet at the State House in Yaoundé.

President Biya, who turns 84 next Monday, had earlier offered the team a special bonus of $163,956 (FCFA 100m) prior to the Africa Cup of Nations final in Libreville, Gabon.

The Cameroonians Sunday beat eight times champions Egypt 2-1 to lift the trophy after a 15-year wait.

The team members were on Monday treated to an arousing welcome home.

Special aircraft

Thousands of fans defied the scorching sun and waited patiently for the special aircraft carrying the Indomitable Lions from Libreville.

The victory at the the Stade de L’Amitie was the Indomitable Lions' fifth in the continental tournament.

Vincent Aboubakar’s 88th minute goal gave the rejuvenated Lions the victory after Nicholas Nkoulou’s 58th minute header cancelled Egypt's first-half lead by Arsenal's Mohammed Elneny.

An enthusiastic crowd had jammed the Yaoundé Nsimalen International Airport as early as 9am local time to welcome the 2017 champions.

Bad weather

The Indomitable Lions were scheduled to jet-in two hours later, but delayed. Team Press Officer Vincent de Paul Atangana told the Africareview on phone from Libreville that the delay was caused by bad weather.

“The weather was not good; there is heavy rain here.”

The delay did not, however, discourage the enthusiastic supporters.

After greeting the fans, the team drove off to town on roads lined up by other fans waving miniature national flags.

Fifteen of the 23 players in the team were making their debut at the Africa Cup of Nations; among them two home based.

The bitterness

Local media, including the Douala-based Equinoxe Television, showed footages of similar celebrations in other parts of Cameroon.

The triumph seems to have calmed down the bitterness in the English speaking Northwest and Southwest over alleged marginalisation by the government.

The victory also qualified the Indomitable Lions to play in the Fifa Confederations Cup in Russia later in the year.

Cameroon will now join Australia, Chile, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal and the hosts at the tournament.

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