ABUJA (AFP) – Nigeria’s Super Eagles arrived back home here on Tuesday, after winning the country’s first Africa Cup of Nations trophy in nearly two decades and were welcomed by adoring crowds ahead of meeting the president.
Hundreds welcomed the team back at the airport in the capital of Abuja before an ceremony later in the afternoon at the National Stadium.
They were also due to attend a reception on Tuesday, to be hosted by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Along the road from the airport toward the city, school children dressed in their uniforms waited for the team convoy and waved Nigerian flags.
The Nations Cup victory in South Africa has thrilled Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation but where the team has in recent years failed to play up to its potential.
A 1-0 win over Burkina Faso, thanks to a winner from Sunday Mba, gave the football mad nation its first African championship since 1994.
Celebrations however were initially tainted by the announcement that coach Stephen Keshi was resigning before the Nigerian Football Federation released a statement said to be signed by Keshi, that he was changing his mind after the sports minister intervened.
Keshi is one of only two men to win the African Cup of Nations as both a player and a coach.