Fans in Dakar’s neighbourhoods are painting the streets red, yellow and green in the national colours of the flag ahead of the AFCON final on Friday (July 19) against Algeria.

Few believed the national team would get to the final, the first time since 2002.

But now they have the mood of anticipation and excitement is at its highest.

“Trophy or no trophy, a final is is a celebration. On the day of the final, from 9 a.m., we are,” said one fan, Mamadou Keita.

They know it won’t be easy. Senegal lost to Algeria in the knockout stage.

One of the national team players Mbaye Diagne comes from Dakar’s HLM neighbourhood, where children collected money all week to buy paint. On Wednesday they cleaned the streets and painted flags and stats all over.

In another neighbourhood, Fass, a group of musicians had people dancing every night.

“After the matches we come here and organise parties. After every match. And the whole neighbourhood is here and the mothers even come. In fact just a minute ago the mothers were asking to come on the day of the final because they want to wear their team shirts in green, yellow and red. so its the whole of the neighbourhood that wants to support the national team,” said the head of the group Mala Ndiaye.

Friday’s final will be held at the Cairo International Stadium where Senegal will attempt to win their maiden title and Algeria their first since 1990.

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