Equatorial Guinea authorities are not backing down in their promise to lavish the national team with cash at the ongoing 2012 Africa Cup of Nations to boost motivation.

After handing a cheque of $1 million (R7.8 m) to the team a day after their successful 1-0 opener against Libya, the central African nation’s government gave each of the Nzalang Nacional’s player $24 000 (R 187 000) for their breathtaking 2-1 win over Group A top favourites Senegal on Wednesday to qualify for the quarterfinals.

Sports minister Francisco Pascal Eyegue Obama Asué on Friday reiterated the government’s desire to repeat the same gesture if the team wrapped up their group campaign with a win over Zambia.

Each player will pocket $43 000 (R 334 000) if Equatorial Guinea cross the quarterfinal’s hurdles into the semis, and then get more lucrative recompense, which will be decided by the authorities in due course.

“Besides just playing for the team and the nation, remember that most of our players are originally not from here, so you need to fill their pocket to motivate them to high level and that’s what the authorities are doing right,” Sergio Ndongo, a Bata-based freelance journalist, told Supersport.com.

Equatorial Guinea, who are participating in their first Africa Cup of Nations, carried off their first two games of the competition against Libya and Senegal, striking pundits and fans with awe and gradually turning a team to be reckoned with at the 28th edition of the pan-African soccer showpiece.