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Jubilant Ivory Coast football fans flock to team's AFCON victory parade

Security officers escort Ivory Coast soccer team players during a road caravan   -  
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Sunday Alamba/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved

Ivory Coast

Thousands of jubilant fans took to the streets of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast on Monday to celebrate the country’s Africa Cup of Nations victory.

Supporters wearing the orange and white colours of The Elephants danced and cheered as the team’s victory parade drove by, blowing whistles and vuvuzelas.

As they headed through the streets to the Félix-Houphouët-Boigny Stadium for the culmination of public celebrations, the players waved to crowds and showed off their medals.

The hosts defeated Nigeria 2-1 on Sunday to win AFCON for the third time, prompting massive celebrations across the country.

Ivory Coast’s progression to the final seemed unlikely in the early stages of the competition.

They lost two of their group games and fired their coach mid-tournament, before making an impressive come-back with wins against Senegal and Mali in the knockout stage.

Interim coach, Emerse Faé, became the first in the history of the tournament to win it without having been in charge at the start.

Sébastien Haller fired the team into the final with the winning goal against Congo in the semifinals, then scored the winner against Nigeria in the final.

Emotion got to the Borussia Dortmund forward after the game. It is just over a year since Haller returned after cancer treatment.

“Every game was difficult,” said Ivory Coast midfielder Seko Fofana after the final. “We hope everybody is going to enjoy this moment because it’s not every day.”

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