The millions South Africa, DR Congo banked despite AFCON exit

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FOOTBALL The millions South Africa, DR Congo banked despite AFCON exit

Festus Chuma 06:00 - 09.02.2024

Despite semi-final exits, South Africa and DR Congo earned substantial prize money in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

South Africa and DR Congo were ousted from the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in their semi-final matches, leaving them to settle for the third-place playoff.

Despite their disappointment on the pitch, both teams have found solace in the substantial prize money offered by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

South Africa's journey in the tournament came to an end after a heartbreaking penalty shootout loss to Nigeria.

"We created more chances which means if we had scored, we would have been in the final and not Nigeria," expressed South Africa head coach Hugo Broos.

However, they can take comfort in the fact that they have secured a significant sum of USD 2,500,000 (equivalent to Ksh394 million) in prize money.

This financial boost comes as a welcome reward for their efforts, particularly as they made it to the semi-finals for the first time in 24 years.

DR Congo, similarly, faced elimination in their semi-final clash against hosts Ivory Coast, suffering a 1-0 defeat.

"We didn't take advantage of our momentum," rued DR Congo head coach Sebastien Desabre. "We tried to have all the offensive weapons to equalize, by changing the system, making substitutions, but unfortunately, it didn't happen."

Despite falling short of the final, they too will be taking home USD 2,500,000 (Ksh394 million) in prize money.

This substantial amount reflects the 40% increase in prize money announced by CAF President Dr. Patrice Motsepe ahead of the tournament, demonstrating the organization's commitment to rewarding participating teams.

"I am confident that a portion of the Prize Money will contribute to developing football and also benefit all the football stakeholders, as well as assist our Member Associations with their administrations," remarked Dr. Patrice Motsepe prior to the commencement of the tournament.

South Africa's journey to the semi-finals was marked by a memorable victory over Cape Verde, secured in a tense penalty shootout where goalkeeper Ronwen Williams emerged as the hero, saving an unprecedented four spot-kicks.

Similarly, DR Congo fought valiantly in their campaign, ultimately falling short against a formidable Ivory Coast side. However, their journey has not been in vain, as they prepare to face South Africa in the third-place playoff in Abidjan on Saturday. 

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