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Zambia celebrate historic win with street parties
Published : 12 Feb 2012 23:46:55
Zambian supporters poured into the streets of the capital in the early hours of Monday and partied to celebrate the first Africa Cup of Nations title won by the copper-rich country.
Confident of victory before the kick-off of a final won 8-7 on penalties against Ivory Coast after 120 goalless minutes, thousands clad in the orange, green and black of the national team blew horns after an emotional success.
The final was staged in Gabonese capital Libreville, off whose coast a military aircraft carrying the 1993 Zambian national squad plunged into the Atlantic Ocean killing all 30 players, officials and crew on board.
French coach Herve Renard and a squad containing only one player who lines up for a first division club in Europe vowed to bring the trophy back to Lusaka as a tribute to those who died.
Zambia went football crazy in the hours leading up the final and even heavy rain could not dampen the spirits of Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets) fans as they crowded into bars and clubs or watched the match at home.
Among those who saw Zambia triumph at the Stade de l'Amitie was former president Kenneth Kaunda with the national team known as the 'KK XI' until he was voted out of office in 1991 after leading the country for 27 years.