Lusaka - The Zambian government has
given $59 000 to each player in the national side which won the
country's first Africa Cup of Nations title on Sunday, the sports
minister said Tuesday.
"The government has given each one of you
$59 000, and that is beside what the corporate organisations might
decide to give. This money is from the government," Chishimba Kambwili
said on national radio.
The award is a princely sum in a nation where, per capita, the gross domestic product is less than $1 500.
defeated hot favourites Ivory Coast 8-7 on penalties after 120 goalless
minutes in Sunday's final, which had emotional overtones for Zambia.
final was staged in the 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.
victorious national team returned home Monday, sparking a near stampede
at the Lusaka show grounds where 200,000 people gathered to celebrate
the Chipolopolo Boys (Copper Bullets).
Players and government officials had to be whisked away amid chaotic scenes after fans became unruly.
the win was also greeted with sombre prayers at the burial site of the
1993 squad, where President Michael Sata is expected to lay a wreath
later on Tuesday to honour the team whose spirits are widely credited
with ensuring Zambia's victory.