Tunisia’s African Nations Championship (CHAN) triumph came as a relief for the Tunisians who just began a new era after toppling Zine el Abidine Ben Ali.
Despite the recent instability in their home land, the Carthage Eagles produced some outstanding performances in the tournament that was held in Sudan. They clinched the title after thrashing Angola 3-0 in Friday’s final.
CHAN is designed exclusively for African-based footballers.
Tunisia were eager to win the title to honor the country’s martyrs and bring joy for the people who ended Ben Ali’s 25-year rule.
Tunisian coach Sami Trabelsi, who achieved his aim of ending the team’s seven-year trophy drought, expressed his delight with the long-awaited triumph.
“The victory is a gift to the people of Tunisia,” Trabelsi was quoted as saying by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) official website.
“We faced difficulties preparing for this tournament because of what was happening at home. We said to ourselves we will turn this situation into our motivation and we want to make Tunisia people happy.
“I am very happy that we have done so,” he added.
Trabelsi admitted that Sudanese support played an instrumental role in his team’s success.
“We had our Sudanese supporters and it really was wonderful to have them cheer Tunisia like they did,” he concluded.
Tunisian press hailed the national team’s achievement, which was the first one since they won the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations.
“Assabah” newspaper said on Saturday that this is a new victory for the Tunisian youth, adding “CHAN title is the national team gift for the revolution”.
The final was attended by 40,000 fans in Omdurman Stadium and “Al Shorouk” newspaper said the fans’ support for the Tunisians contributed to that victory.
“Revolution led the Tunisian team to glory,” added “Al Shorouk”.