Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo

CAN 2023 – Equatorial Guinea: in addition to the bonus, this day is declared a national holiday

Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema said he would grant a bonus of 1 million euros to the team and technical staff in recognition of their exceptional performance.

The players, including Emilio Nsue, scorer of a double, and Pablo Ganet, scorer of a superb free kick, were hailed as national heroes, having written one of the most glorious chapters in sporting history from the country. In addition to the financial reward, the President also proclaimed Tuesday January 23, 2024 a national holiday, allowing the entire population to celebrate this historic victory.

This show of force against the host country had a flavor of revenge, because in 2012, Ivory Coast had eliminated Equatorial Guinea, then host country, from its CAN at home (3-0 in the quarter-finals). The Equato-Guineans thus returned the favor to the Elephants, although the Ivorians retain the hope of reaching the round of 16 by ranking among the best third-placed teams.

Euphoria spread across the country, with celebrations taking to the streets of Malabo, the capital, and other regions. This award and national recognition are seen as ways to further boost the team ahead of their next round of 16 match. Thus, Equatorial Guinea continues its exceptional journey in the 2023 African Cup of Nations, suggesting other sporting exploits to come.

With 7 points, Nzalang Nacional finished at the top of Group C. Although the Super Eagles of Nigeria have the same number of points, their goal difference is lower (+2 compared to +6 for Equatorial Guinea), thus ranking them second. Quarter-finalist of the last edition and semi-finalist in 2015, Equatorial Guinea seems well on its way to achieving another remarkable performance.