Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo has awarded the Ghana U-20 squad that won the World Cup in Egypt in October with medals and £38,636 at the Presidential Palace in Abidjan.
The West African French speaking country also bestowed national order honours on the Ghanaian delegation, the Black Satellites players, the technical set-up and management team for the historic victory on October 16 in Cairo when Ghana became the first African side to lift the U-20 World Cup.
Black Satellites coach, Sellas Tetteh was decorated with the 'Chevalier of the National Order of Cote d’Ivoire' as the Ivorian president informed the ceremony that the occasion was for African integration and to celebrate the achievement of the Black Satellites as an “African achievement”.
"I am happy to see this young team because our days are slipping away. This is indeed an African integration ceremony. I am fighting hard so that Africa will not be trampled upon. I want Africa to be among world leaders. Such is the meaning of today's ceremony,” president Gbagbo said in a Ghanafa.org report.
Ghana beat Brazil in the final game on penalties to win the trophy after drawing goalless in 120 minutes with ten men.
The presidents of some African football associations, including countries that have qualified for the 2010 World Cup 2010 were also honoured. They included Ghana, South Africa, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Algeria.
The Ghana FA President Kwesi Nyantakyi received the highest honour of the ‘Commander of the National Order of Cote d’Ivoire’, for qualifying the Black Stars to back-to-back World Cups.
K.N.S. Mensah, Goal.com