Multi-million bonuses for victorious Ivorians

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Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara has splashed over €3 million ($3.4 million) in bonuses to reward the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations winners, the Sports Ministry has announced.

The West African nation pipped Ghana 9-8 on penalties after a goalless draw following extra time in Equatorial Guinea to lift their second title after 1992.

Coach Herve Renard was invited to the presidential palace on Tuesday with the Frenchman receiving a bonus of more than €114,000 ($129,000).

His 23-man squad were each given a house worth €46,000 ($52,000) as well as the same amount “in cash”, according to Sports Minister, Alain Lobognon.

The Ivorian Football Federation were given €380,000 ($429,000), with the technical and administrative staff sharing €460,000 ($520,000), amounting to a total of €3 million forked out by the head of state.

The entire squad were also conferred with the highest order of the Knights of the National Order.

“Thanks to you, Ivory Coast is once more united,” said Ouattara, speaking at length of the sense of national unity the victory provided.

“You managed to rebuild a strong team working as one towards one goal – winning and winning more. It’s a lesson in rallying people together,” he said.

The Ivorian ‘Elephants’ have been seen as a uniting force in one of the world’s poorest countries, which is emerging from 10 years of political and military strife.

“We had been dreaming about that title for a quarter of a century! Now, the cup is here and, as they say, all things come in threes!” said Ouattara.

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