Ali Bongo visited the media centre in the Gabonese capital, Libreville, ahead of the country co-hosting the Africa Cup of Nations with Equatorial Guinea.
“Football is everything here,” President Bongo said before the tournament kicks off on Saturday.
“The Gabonese people are very pleased to have this event in their country.”
“And I’m just like the rest of them – very pleased and very excited.
“It’s not only Africa’s biggest competition but after the World Cup and the European Championship, this is the third [biggest] world event when it comes to football.
“So for us it was very important to be able to host such a competition, like every other country in Africa that has done so before.”