Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi on Monday evening handed a bonus of $85,000 to members of the Egyptian football national team, the Pharaohs, who achieved a 2018 World Cup qualification.
The country last participated in the World Cup in 1990 with Italy as hosts.
The Pharaohs claimed a 2-1 win over Congo Brazzaville courtesy of a late Mohamed Salah goal.
The president announced the reward as he met the team coached by Argentine Hector Cuper.
“Maybe we don’t play beautiful football but we are at the World Cup and that’s the most important thing,” BBC quotes Cuper as saying during the presidential reception.
Al-Sisi singled out match-winner Salah for praise.
“I am proud of all the players but especially of Mo Salah who was brave enough to take the crucial penalty,” the president said.
“Also thank you to coach Cuper who has made our dreams come true.”
Liverpool forward Salah revealed that the World Cup is now the focus after seeing out the likes of Ghana and Uganda.
“We are determined to make the country and continent proud in Russia,” Salah said.
“I am very happy to lead Egypt to a World Cup after 28 years and to make a 100 million proud of us.”
The Pharaohs have won the Africa Cup of Nations title on seven occasions but have only been to the World Cup twice in 1934 and 1990 and are yet to win a game at the finals.