President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi received the Egyptian national football team, upon their arrival from Gabon, at the Cairo International airport.
The Egyptian team had participated in the 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), where it ranked second. The final result of the match was 1-2 in favour of Cameroon, after Egypt had already acquired a 1-0 lead.
On this occasion, President Al-Sisi expressed his high appreciation of the Egyptian team for their prestigious performance in the final of the 31st edition of the AFCON.
“Despite of the final’s result, the Egyptian team managed to gain appreciation and respect, both from Egyptians and football fans worldwide,” stated Al-Sisi.
During his meeting with the national team, Al-Sisi had a side-talk with the team’s manager, Héctor Cúper, thanking him for his efforts and supporting him to achieve more victories in the future.
Egyptians streets were crowded with celebrating people before the match; coffee shops were crammed with people cheering for the Egyptian team. Egyptian fans were very eager this time to win this prestigious event, after Egypt had been absent from the tournament for several years.
After losing the final, some people were disappointed; however, the majority still appreciated that Egypt managed to be the runner-up, after being absent from the last three editions of the AFCON.
Despite of the conflicts among Egyptians that surfaced recently due to political issues, supporting the Egyptian team throughout its journey in the 2017 AFCON was something that managed to unite Egyptians again.
In this regard, Al-Sisi thanked the Egyptian team, assuring them that they made all Egyptians happy, thanks to their great performance throughout the whole tournament.
Still, after Egypt lost the 2017 AFCON final, streets were stuffed with people cheering for the Egyptian team, appreciating that it managed to reach the final.
Egypt’s national football team won the AFCON seven times, in 1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008, and most recently in 2010.
Egypt was, however, absent from the event’s last three editions, which took place in 2012, 2013, and 2015.
After this long period of absence, the Egyptian team managed to qualify for competition and reached the final match, which took place on Sunday, against Cameroon, champions of the 2000 Sydney’s Summer Olympics.
Cameroon was seeking revenge against Egypt, after the Egyptian team snatched the AFCON title from it in 2008. Vincent Aboubakar was the player who managed to secure the cup for Cameroon, after he scored a goal in the 88th minute, taking the final score to 1-2.
Up until the 2017 AFCON semi-final, not a single goal was scored against Egypt. The first goal against the team occurred in its semi-final match against Burkina Faso.
This is the second time for Egypt to be the AFCON runner-up, as in 1962 it finished second too.
As for the Cameroonian team, this is their fifth AFCON title, as they won it in 1984, 1988, 2000, 2002, and now most recently in 2017.
Photos Presidency Handout