Ivory Coast: Houses and cash for football champions

Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara and Ivory Coast captain Yaya Toure wave at the crowd Image copyright AFP
Image caption President Alassane Ouattara (left) says the team's victory has united the country

Ivory Coast's football team has been rewarded with millions of dollars in prizes by the country's government for winning the Africa Cup of Nations.

Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara is giving each member of the 23-man squad a house worth $52,000 (£34,000) and the same amount in cash, the government says. The team beat Ghana's Black Stars 9-8 on penalties in the tournament's final in Equatorial Guinea. There were also six-figure rewards for the Ivorian Football Federation and the team's technical staff - in total the government has shelled out more than $3m (£2m) in celebration of the victory.

It wasn't a total loss for Ghana's team, despite their penalty defeat. Each player is being given $25,000 (£16,000) by the team's sponsor, the state-owned Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), a figure that the country's sports minister thinks is a little low. Mahama Ayariga says the bottle-throwing endured by players during their semi-final victory over Equatorial Guinea in Malabo means they deserve their reward. "For those who think that GNPC rewarding the boys with $25,000 is too generous, I wish they were in the stadium" in Malabo, he's quoted as saying in Nigeria's Daily Post. "Then they will know whether $25,000 is worth that kind of experience. I don't even think it is enough."

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