Joseph Antoine Bell, Roger Milla, Laurent Pokou, Tony Sylva and Cyrille Domoraud were some of the biggest stars of African football who attended the People’s Palace of Malabo to pay tribute to the Head of State for having promoted the celebrated the CAN, a tournament others would not host, in Equatorial Guinea. For this reason, they awarded him the trophy of Great Africanist Leadership.
Led by Joseph Antoine Bell and Roger Milla, this gathering of senior players brought together, at the People’s Palace of Malabo, some of the most important figures in African football of all time. Among them were Joseph-Antoine Bell, Roger Milla, Faustin Domkeu, Laurent Pokou, Tony Sylva and Cyrille Domoraud.
The group, made up of players from Cameroon, Senegal, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Egypt, Zambia, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, South Africa and Equatorial Guinea, awarded President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo the Trophy of Great Africanist Leadership, for his positive to response to hosting on Equatorial Guinean soil the football competition CAN 2015 (Africa Cup of Nations), which, they said, was at risk of being held in a non-African country. The First Vice President, Ignacio Milam Tang, was also present, who was also a great player in his youth.
-“Today we are talking with our father,” said Joseph Antoine Bell at the time of delivering the trophies and certificates of recognition to the Head of State and Government, H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, and the First Lady, Constancia Mangue de Obiang. The representative of the association highlighted the actions taken by the President of Equatorial Guinea, who he described as a “great Pan-Africanist,” congratulating him on the successful organization of the CAN 2015, despite the limited time available for the country to coordinate its celebration.
For his part, H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, in his reflections during the ceremony, which he considered “historic”, said “Africa is our continent and we are all brothers.”
Continuing with his speech in the presence of his wife, Constancia Mangue de Obiang, to whom the association also presented an award for the support she offered her husband in matters that benefit both the nation as well as Africa, the Head of State made it clear to everyone that Equatorial Guinea has not agreed to organize this sporting competition because it has the financial means to do so, but to save the honor of our continent.
-“My gratitude is moving, you have proved you are true Africanists; if we do not value Africa, we will always be humiliated,” said the President and invited all the attendees to continue fighting for the continent.
The moving ceremony was held at the People’s Palace of Malabo on January 23.
Text and photos: Maria Jesus Nsang Nguema
Photos: Manuel Mangue
(Presidential Press Team)
Equatorial Guinea’s Press and Information Office