Hundreds welcomed the team back at the airport in the capital of Abuja before an ceremony later in the afternoon at the National Stadium. They were also due to attend a reception yesterday, to be hosted by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Nigeria captain Joseph Yobo with the African Nations Cup trophy as the team alight from their plane in Abuja yesterday. pics/afp 

Along the road from the airport to the city, school children dressed in uniform waited for the team convoy and waved Nigerian flags.

A 1-0 win in the African Nations Cup final against Burkina Faso, thanks to a winner from Sunday Mba, gave football-crazy Nigeria its first African championship since 1994.

Celebrations though were initially tainted by the announcement that coach Stephen Keshi was resigning before the Nigerian Football Federation said in a statement that he had changed his mind after the sports minister’s intervention.