Panama declares public holiday after qualifying for World Cup 2018

HAVANA – Panama President Juan Carlos Varela has declared Wednesday to be a national holiday after the country qualified for the World Cup for the first time ever.

Varela‏ said on Twitter: “The voice of the people has been heard… Tomorrow will be a national holiday.”

The national team beat Costa Rica 2-1 in Panama City on Tuesday evening.

The president said public and private workers could take the day off, and school classes would also be cancelled.

In a series of excited tweets, he shared a picture of himself signing the decree, adding “You deserve it”.

Panamanians celebrated long into the night after the victory.

Panama has tried to qualify for every football World Cup since 1978, but it has never been successful until now.

The country will take part in the 2018 competition, which starts in Russia next June.