By Sedara Philip
Burkina Faso’s team that clinched bronze at the TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Algeria were given a warm welcome back home, received at the Presidential Palace after their mesmeric run in North Africa.
On top of leaving Algeria with a bronze medal, the Burkinabe also earned themselves qualification to the FIFA World Cup.
Transitional President Ibrahima Traore hosted them, congratulating them for their performance and hoisting the Burkinabe flag high in the continent.
“Congratulations for everything you have done. We appreciated your efforts on behalf of the people of Burkina Faso. You have given them so much joy, you would not understand,” the Head of State said as he hosted them.
He further said that the performance of the Junior Stallions gave the people much to rejoice for, especially at a time when the country is facing difficult times.
Coach Brahima Traore, speaking at the ceremony, dedicated the victories from Algeria to his fellow countrymen as well as the Defense Forces working round the clock to keep the country safe.
“During our journey at the AFCON, we always thought of our country,” Traore said, while also apologizing to the public for not being able to go all the way and clinch the crown.
He added; “In view of the individual trophies won by my players, Burkina Faso deserved to win the Cup.
Forward Souleymane Alio was named Most Valuable player while three of his players were named in the team of the tournament. In four of the five matches they played, his players were given Man of the Match Awards.
Lazare Banssé, the president of the Burkinabe Football Federation meanwhile praised the highest authorities in the country for enabling the team participate in the tournament in the best conditions.
“This is the first time that we have benefited from so much attention and resources to go to an AFCON in this age category. The results are therefore not a coincidence,” he said