By NBF News
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Ivorian government declares holiday for national team

Abidjan Some Ivorian fans wept in Abidjan  Sunday and  blamed the loss on the team's captain, Dider Drogbaon when the Zambian national team won the African Cup of Nations championship in Libreville after 120 minutes of play and two rounds of penalty play out.

Not minding the lost the Ivorian government on Sunday declared Feb. 13 a public holiday in spite of its national team's loss at the African Cup of Nations to Zambia.

The Chipolopolo of Zambia won the cup after 120 minutes play with the Elephants of Cote D'Ivoire that ended in a penalty play out on Sunday.

The Minister of Communications, Mr Bruno Kone, made the announcement in Abidjan, saying that it would enable fans to celebrate the country's performance at the tournament.  (

Silence swept across Abidjan, the economic capital of Cote d'Ivoire, as the Zambian team lifted the cup which the Elephants won in 1992.

Ivorian fans had been in high spirit, organising night parties and carnivals as Elephants rose to the finals of the competition, but down cast when it lost to the Chipolopolo of Zambia.

Reactions to the tournament in the government, restaurants, night clubs, religious bodies and the UN Mission had lined up ceremonies for the return of the cup.

The Prime Minister of Cote d'Ivoire, Mr Guillaume Soro, said the country could pick the cup another time in the future, urging the fans to accept the results of the match.

He said: 'We prepared very well for the tournament. We played very well so we can accept the results.''

The Ivorian government started a build-up to the tournament in January by organising a novelty match between ministers and the football body which attracted more than 70,000 fans.

Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, the Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, Konan Banny and the Head of the UN Mission, Mr Berth Koenders, were among dignitaries who went to Libreville to support the Elephants.

The fans, however, blamed the loss on the team's captain, Dider Drogba, who lost a penalty during the play.

Many Ivorians had said the return of the cup would have aided the reconciliation process in the country. (NAN)