In France on Saturday a symbolic football tournament to celebrate the golden jubilee of the independence of a number of African countries took place in Hellemmes near Lille, according to Lavoixdunord.
At the entrance of the small Arthur-Cornette Stadium, loudspeakers were hoisted, airing traditional African music while, in the jam-packed interior, African attendants were chanting and beating drums to support their footballers.
An aroma of roasted fish and steak meat covered the spaces around the bleachers in the stadium, as fans ate, drank and danced. Organisers said the aim of the event was to have fun using football to celebrate the 50th independence of African countries, which is being commemorated across the continent this year – most African countries got their independence in 1960.
Ten teams representing Africa were put in place to play against each other with the emerging winner to confront host team US Hellemmes. Cote-d'Ivoire, Central Africa Republic, Benin, Gabon, Congo, Guinea, Cameroon, Togo and others honoured the occasion. Cote D’Ivoire won the tournament, beating host side US Hellemmes.
A similar event took place last week in Cotonou, Benin.