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08/07/2013
Sport
Champions Trophy: a popular sports celebration
On 3 August 2013, the 18th edition of the Champions Trophy left its mark on football fans and the people of Gabon. The victory of Paris Saint Germain after a great deal of suspense, the top of the range performance from the Bordeaux player Poko, Anthony Obame acclaimed by the crowd at the Stade de l’Amitié, the players visits to orphanages… Feedback on this international event that went beyond the frontiers of sport. Some 40,000 spectators at the Stade de l’Amitié in Angondjé will be able to say to their friends: “I was there”. For this football match between Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux Girondins left its mark in more than one respect. And not only because Gabon is the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to organise an official French football match.

The match: PSG at the finish

This 18th edition of the Champions Trophy was won by Paris Saint-Germain after an intense match that could have gone either way until the last minute. “It was a very good match. There was some very skilful playing“, said President Ali Bongo Ondimba, who handed over the trophy to the captain of the Paris side, Thiago Silva.
The Bordeaux players, trained by Francis Gillot, led the field for a long time, following Henri Saivet's cunning header goal at 38 minutes. Frustrated and unhappy in the second half, Laurent Blanc's PSG only owed its salvation to the talent of Parisian youth and in particular, to the soaring and swooping Hervin Ongenda (81st minute). 3 minutes into added time, Alex's header freed his team and a large part of the stadium audience who were rooting for Zlatan Ibrahimovic's side.
 
The player of the match was André Biyogo Poko
 
“This is an unforgettable evening, I am reaping the fruits of my efforts.” Despite his team's defeat, the Gabonese midfielder Poko had everything to smile about. For 90 minutes, the native of Bitam illuminated the match with his sidekicks and clear interventions cheered on by the 40,000 spectators in the stadium. And if only he had succeeded in outwitting the PSG goalkeeper, Salvatore Sirigu, after he charged single-handedly through PSG's defence …
The player fully deserved to win the title of man of the match. With a broad smile, President Ali Bongo Ondimba received the player's jersey at the end of the game. At 20 years old, the Gabonese international player has a great future ahead of him.
The other highlights:
 
  • The players from PSG and Bordeaux paid a visit to an orphanage. The day before the match, the whole Paris Saint-Germain team visited the centre for abandoned children in Angondjé. Founded in 1998, this care facility helps children daily through the work of volunteers. The same day, the Bordeaux Girondins visited Sainte-Marie orphanage in Libreville, the Arc en Ciel centre, which has been working for 15 years to help reintegrate abandoned and abused children in Gabon's capital.
  • The President of the Professional Football League signed an agreement with the Gabonese Football League (LINAF). On 2 August, Frédéric Thiriez announced his intention to help Gabonese football become more professional.
  • Anthony Obame, President Ali Bongo Ondimba's guest of honour. The Olympic champion and Taekwondo world champion bowed to the public at the Stade de l’Amitié to an immense ovation. The Head of State made sure the most decorated Gabonese athlete in the history of Gabonese sport was invited to the official grandstand.
  • Gifts were exchanged by PSG, Bordeaux and the Gabonese President. At half-time, the representatives of the two clubs joined the Head of State to exchange a few souvenirs, notably some autographed strips from the two clubs.
 
 
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