Music, dance, songs and, above all, joy and enthusiasm marked the celebrations of the grand opening of the CAN 2015 that was held on the afternoon of January 17 in the Nkoantoma Stadium of Bata. In it, the Chairman of the CAF, Issa Hayatou, awarded the President of the Republic, H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, with a special medal, granted for the first time in African football, for his collaboration to being able to hold this edition of the cup on Equatorial soil.
With only fifty days of preparation, Equatorial Guinea has fulfilled its commitment to have everything prepared so that on January 17 the great festival of African football –the African Cup of Nations (CAN 2015)- could begin. The opening festival was a popular and sports success, without any type of incidents. In the ceremony, the President of the Republic, H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, received a medal from the African Football Federation (CAF), the first that has been granted of this type, for his great collaboration to being able to hold this championship in our country.
As was expected, the stadium was a fiesta. Tens of thousands of persons went to the Nkoantoma Stadium of Bata to attend a historic afternoon which the Equatoguinean people enjoyed with music, dance and they demonstrated that they are proud that –with only fifty days of margin- a CAN was organized, which some wanted to take out of the African continent.
In the introduction of the inaugural act, the public could enjoy the music of national and international artists, who kept the people dancing and excitement at a feverish level during the entire show.
The different ethnic groups of the country were represented through traditional dances, which showed the Equatorial Guinean culture to all the spectators at the stadium and to those that followed the event through the international television. All this was an introduction to the great match that pitted the Nzalang Nacional against Congo Brazzaville and which ended with a tie at one goal. A result that leaves the doors open for the national team to go on to the group phase.
Text and photos: Javier Hernandez
Equatorial Guinea’s Press and Information Office