Senghor's death clouds World Cup's sojourn in Senegal

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- The world football trophy currently doing a round of Africa's flag bearers in the 2002 finals arrived in Dakar 20 December, the same day news was received of the death of Senegal's first president, Leopold Sedar Senghor.
The solid gold trophy was to go around the country, but the announcement of Senghor's death upset the programme.
Initially billed for Friday 21 December, the tour of Senegalese towns was simply cancelled, as well as a gala that was to crown the tour.
The high point of the event was the presentation of the trophy to President Abdoulaye Wade on Saturday.
However, this ceremony was only attended by the organisers and pressmen, due to 15 days of national mourning decreed the Senegalese Head of State.
"We are optimistic and we are going to the World Cup finals to win.
And I am sure that Senegalese people, after seeing this trophy, will support their team, so that this trophy comes back to Senegal," President Wade said.
The trophy is to visit the other African countries that qualified for the World Cup finals, including South Africa, Cameroon, Nigeria and Tunisia, the organisers said.
This tour is organised by a big firm manufacturing soft drinks, with a branch in Senegal.
In spite of the mourning in Senegal, the trophy's stay in Dakar has been extended 26 December 2001, when the Senegalese locks horns with Burkina Faso in a warm up match ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Mali next January.

24 december 2001 19:32:00

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