After two years without football because of Coronavirus, the Night of African Football is back in Kinsasha, giving a certain rhythm to the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo
A mega football match took place at the Martyrs stadium where the former legends of the continent once again went against the DRC's former stars. The match was also graced with thousands of supporters, especially from Kinshasa.
Among the players was Pascal Feindouno, the former Guinean international, who praised the occasion.
"It's true that it's a party today. They say we are old, but there is still something left (in the legs). We can't lose everything. Otherwise, we're having a good time. It's a good night.," he said.
In the end, the two sides were tied at three goals apiece. Nigerian Nwankwo Kanu and former Leopards striker Mbala Mbuta Biscott scored the best goals of the night.
"I came for this game. It is good because today the country has recognized that we are legends. I am proud to participate in this beautiful celebration in Kinshasa. You can see the atmosphere. It's been a long time since I found such a public. It's always a pleasure," said Mbala Mbuta Biscott, former DRC Leopards player.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is facing a security crisis, especially in its east. This year's theme was Sports, peace, and development.
In attendance was Congolese minister of sports, Serge Kkondé alongside sports journalists, former football players such as Jimmy Adjovi-Boco and Anthony Baffoe, as well as a former coach and an expert from the International Football Federation (FIFA).
"Our country is experiencing a lot of aggression, particularly in the East with our neighbors, which is making our people very uncomfortable. We must put our people together for the good development of sports because when the population is in disarray, then it is difficult to develop our sport.
Former member of the Racing Club de Lens (French D1), Jimmy Adjovi-Boco was among the 150 guests, some of whom had flown in from outside the continent. As the head of the Diambard Institute, Jimmy Adjovi-Boco is dedicated to the training of young talents.
"We created Diambard 20 years ago. Today it is a real success, a reference in terms of sport and education on the African continent. We are proud. Our youth love sports. The Congolese youth, like the African youth, loves sports, loves soccer. And, we have soccer potential for economic development, but also social with a mobilization of the youth that we must not neglect," said Adjovi-Boco.
The Night of African Football (NFA) began in 2013 under the stewardship of Yves Sawadogo.