Sierra Leone President Julius Bio has praised the Leone Stars following their historic Africa Cup of Nations qualification victory over Benin Republic on Tuesday evening.
Kei Kamara’s first-half penalty handed the hosts a crucial victory as John Keister’s men to qualify for their first Afcon finals since 1996.
“Congratulations to Sierra Leone. We are a football-loving nation, and today, our boys have made history. My government is committed to promoting football and other sports disciplines,” President Bio wrote on Twitter.
In March, Bio had promised each member of the Leone Stars the sum of $10,000 should they silence the Squirrels to reach the biennial African football showpiece.
Tuesday’s game was initially billed for March 30 at the National Stadium, Freetown, nonetheless, it did not take place owing to a Covid-19 controversy.
Caf then moved the encounter to June 14, but the game did not take place as planned owing to another Covid controversy.
The victory ensured Sierra Leone ended their 26-year Afcon hiatus. Their last outing was at the 1996 edition staged in South Africa.
There, they crashed out of the preliminary round after failing to qualify from Group B that paraded Zambia, Algeria, and Burkina Faso.