Cameroon: Indomitable Lions - Festive, Heroic Welcome At Nsimalen

Senior State officials, dance groups, fans and population turned out massively at the Yaounde Nsimalen International Airport to welcome the national team.

History was once more made at the Yaounde Nsimalen International Airport on Monday, February 6, 2017 when cabinet ministers, youth groups, dance groups and thousands of curious fans and supporters filed out to welcome the National Football Team, the Indomitable Lions after their excellent victory over the Egyptian football team in the Africa Cup of Nations AFCON 2017 in Gabon. The reception was memorable considering that the Sunday February 5, 2017 two-one victory over the Pharaohs of Egypt came to crown the Indomitable Lions five times winners of the cup. This probably explains the long wait as the Lions were announced to land at Nsimalen at 11:00 a.m. but the CAMAIR-CO jet carrying the team, officials and technical staff landed at 4:04 p.m more than five hours late. The wait instead raised the anxiety of the officials and dance groups that competed for notoriety at the esplanade of the airport. Cabinet Ministers such as the Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, Youth Affairs and Civic Education Minister, Mounouna Foutsou, Transport Minister, Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo'o happily welcomed the team alongside General Pierre Semengue, President of the National Professional Football League. The peak of the airport ceremony came when the Minister of Sports and Physical Education, Bidoung Mkpatt who was with the Lions in Gabon entered the VIP lounge of the airport to a standing ovation. This was just a prelude to euphoria and shouts of joy and praises that followed when the players filed into the lounge. Each of them was given a bouquet of flowers, shook hands with the cabinet Ministers and officials before taking their seats to the admiration of the privileged few who had access to the venue. The bilingual banner conspicuously placed at the venue translated the entire message, "Under the distinguished patronage of the H.E. Paul Biya, President of the Republic and Head of State, Africa Cup of Nations Total "Gabon 2017". Ceremony to welcome the Indomitable Lions, Five times Africa Champions." The coach Hugo Broos and team captain Benjamen Moukandjo made brief declarations to the press before getting out to meet the cheering crowd and fans. From the Yaounde Nsimalen International Airport, the Indomitable Lions meandered through the sea of fans and supporters who lined the streets of Yaounde to their base at the Mont Fébe Hotel.

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