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The Africa Cup of Nations, also referred to as the African Nations Cup (ANC) is the main international association football competition in Africa. It is sanctioned by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), and was first held in 1957. Since 1968, it has been held every two years. The title holders at the time of a FIFA Confederations Cup qualify for that competition.

In 1957 there were only three participating nations: Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. South Africa were to compete, but were disqualified due to the apartheid policies of the government then in power. Since then, the tournament has grown, making it necessary to hold a qualifying tournament. The number of participants in the final tournament reached 16 in 1998 (16 teams were to compete in 1996 but Nigeria withdrew, reducing the field to 15), and since then, the format has been unchanged, with the sixteen teams being drawn into four groups of four teams each, with the top two teams of each group advancing to a "knock-out" stage.

Egypt is the most successful nation in the cup's history, winning the tournament a record six times. Ghana and Cameroon have won four titles each. Three different trophies have been awarded during the tournament's history, with Ghana and Cameroon winning the first two versions to keep after each of them won a tournament three times. The current trophy was first awarded in 2002.

History

1950s-60s: Early growth of the ANC competition

The origins of the African Nations Cup date back to June 1956, when the creation of the Confederation of African Football was proposed during the third FIFAmarker congress in Lisbonmarker. There were immediate plans for a continental nations tournament to be held, and in February 1957, the first African Cup of Nations took place in Khartoummarker, Sudanmarker. There was no qualification for this tournament, the field being made up of the four founding nations of CAF (Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Africa). South Africa's refusal to send a multi-racial squad to the competition led to its disqualification and handed Ethiopia a bye straight to the final.As a result, only two matches were played, with Egypt being crowned as the first continental champion after defeating hosts Sudan in the semi-final and Ethiopia in the final. Two years later, Egypt hosted the second ANC in Cairomarker with the participation of these same three teams. Host and defending champions Egypt repeated as cup winners, this time downing Sudan.

The field grew to include nine teams for the third ANC in 1962 in Addis Ababamarker, and for the first time there was a qualification round to determine which four teams would play for the title. Host Ethiopia and reigning champion Egypt received automatic berths, and were joined in the final four by Nigeria and Tunisia. Egypt made its third consecutive final appearance, but it was Ethiopia that emerged as victors, after first beating Tunisia and then downing Egypt in extra time.

1960s: Ghanaian domination

In 1963, Ghana made its first appearance as it hosted the event, and won the title after beating Sudan in the final. They repeated as champions two years later in Tunisiamarker – equalling Egypt as two-time winners – with a squad that included only two returning members from the 1963 team.

The 1968 competition's final tournament format expanded to include eight of the 22 teams entered in the preliminary rounds. The qualifying teams were distributed in two groups of four to play single round-robin tournaments, with the top two teams of each group advancing to semi-finals, a system that remained in use for the finals until 1992. The Democratic Republic of Congo won its first title, beating Ghana in the final. Starting with the 1968 tournament, the competition has been regularly held every two years in even numbered years. Cote d'Ivoire forward Laurent Pokou led the 1968 and 1970 tournaments in scoring, with six and eight goals respectively, and his total of 14 goals remained the all-time record until 2008. Play was covered for television for the first time during the 1970 tournament in Sudan, as the hosts lifted the trophy after defeating Ghana – who were playing their fourth consecutive final.

1970s: A decade of champions

Six different nations won titles from 1970 to 1980: Sudan, Congo-Brazzaville, Zaire, Morocco, Ghana, and Nigeria. Zaire's second title in the 1974 edition (they won their first as the Democratic Republic of Congo) came after facing Zambia in the final. For the only time to date in the history of the competition, the match had to be replayed as the first contest between the two sides ended in a 2-2 draw after extra time. The final was re-staged two days later with Zaire winning 2-0. Forward Mulamba Ndaye scored all four of Zaire's goals in these two matches: he was also the top scorer of the tournament with nine goals, setting a single-tournament record that remains unmatched. Three months earlier, Zaire had become the first black African nation to qualify to the FIFA World Cup. Morocco won their first title in the 1976 ANC held in Ethiopia and Ghana took its third championship in 1978, becoming the first nation to win three titles. In 1980, Nigeria hosted the event and beat Algeria to capture its first honours.

1980s: Cameroonian and Nigerian domination

Ghana's fourth continental title came in the 1982 cup tournament; they beat Algeria in the semi-finals in extra time, and faced host Libya in the final. The match ended in a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes and Ghana won the penalty shootout to become champions. Cameroon won their first title two years later by beating Nigeria and in the 1986 cup they faced Egypt – absent from the final since 1962 – with Egypt winning the title on penalty kicks. Cameroon reached its third consecutive final in the 1988 tournament and won their second championship by repeating their 1984 victory over Nigeria. In 1990, Nigeria lost once again as they made their third final appearance in four tournaments, this time falling to Algeria.

1990s: The arrival of South Africa

The 1992 Cup of Nations expanded the number of final tournament participants to 12; the teams were divided into four groups of three, with the top two teams of each group advancing to quarter-finals. Ghanaianmarker midfielder Abedi "Pelé" Ayew, who scored three goals, was named the best player of the tournament after his contributions helped Ghana reach the final; he was, however, suspended for that match and Ghana lost to Cote d'Ivoire in a penalty shootout that saw each side make 11 attempts to determine the winner. Cote d'Ivoire set a record for the competition by holding each of their opponents scoreless in the six matches of the final tournament.

The 12-team, three-group format was used again two years later, where hosts Tunisia were humiliated by their first round elimination. Nigeria, who had just qualified to the World Cup for the first time in their history, won the tournament, beating Zambia, who a year before had been struck by disaster when most of their national squad died in a plane crash while traveling to play a 1994 World Cup qualification match. Nigerian forward Rashidi Yekini, who had led the 1992 tournament with four goals, repeated as the top scorer with five goals.

South Africa hosted the 20th ANC competition in 1996, marking their first ever appearance after a decades long ban was lifted with the end of apartheid in the country and a failed attempt to qualify in 1994. The number of final round participants in 1996 was expanded to the current 16, split into four groups. However, the actual number of teams playing in the final was only 15 as Nigeria withdrew from the tournament at the final moment for political reasons. The Bafana Bafana won their first title on home soil, defeating Tunisia in the final. South African captain Neil Tovey became the first white player to raise the trophy.

The South Africans would reach the final again two years later in Burkina Fasomarker, but were unable to defend their title, losing to Egypt who claimed their fourth cup.

2000s: Cameroon's consecutive titles, followed by Egypt's

The 2000 edition was hosted jointly by Ghanamarker and Nigeriamarker, who replaced the originally designated host Zimbabwemarker. Following a 2-2 draw after extra time in the final, Cameroon defeated Nigeria on penalty kicks. In 2002, the Indomitable Lions made the second consecutive titles since Ghana had done it in the 1960s and after Egypt had done it before in 1957 and 1959. Again via penalty kicks, the Cameroonians beat first-time finalists Senegal, who also debuted in the World Cup later that year. Both finalists were eliminated in quarter finals two years later in Tunisiamarker, where the hosts won their first title, beating Morocco 2-1 in the final. The 2006 tournament was also won by the hosts, Egypt, who reached a continental-record fifth title. The 2008 tournament was hosted by Ghanamarker, and saw Egypt retain the trophy, winning their record-extending sixth tournament by defeating Cameroon 1-0 in the final.

Future

Ahead of the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations several European clubs called for a rethink of the tournament's schedule. As it takes place during the European season, players who are involved miss several matches for their clubs. In January 2008, FIFAmarker president Sepp Blatter announced that he wanted the tournament to be held in either June or July by 2016, to fit in the international calendar. This would preclude many countries in central and west Africa from hosting the competition (as these months occur during their wet season) and if the tournament were to remain biennial, it would have to be moved to odd-numbered years so as not to clash with the World Cup.

Format

Qualification

Since the 1962 tournament, qualification matches have been held to determine the participants for the finals. From 1962 to 1990 the qualification matches were generally two-legged knockout ties, with the number of rounds depending upon the number of participants. From 1994 onwards teams attempting to qualify have been divided into groups, with teams playing each other on a round robin basis. Until 2006 the title holders and tournament hosts qualified for the finals automatically; from 2008 only the hosts qualify automatically. The nature of the qualification groups varies from tournament to tournament. As of the 2008 tournament, qualification consists of eleven groups of four teams and one group of three teams. Each group winner qualifies, along with the three runners-up with the best records.

Trophy

Throughout the history of the Nations Cup, three different trophies have been awarded to the winners of the competition. The original trophy, made of silver, was the "Abdelaziz Abdallah Salem Trophy", which was named after the first CAF president, the Egyptianmarker Abdelaziz Abdallah Salem. As the first winner of three Nations Cup tournaments, Ghana obtained the right to permanently hold the trophy in 1978.

The second trophy was awarded from 1980 to 2000, and it was named "Trophy of African Unity" or "African Unity Cup". It was given by the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa to the CAF prior to the 1980 tournament and it was a cylindrical piece with the Olympic rings over a map of the continent engraved on it. It sat on a squared base and had stylized triangular handles. Cameroon won the Unity Cup indefinitely after they became three-time champions in 2000.

In 2001, the third trophy was revealed, a gold-plated cup designed and made in Italymarker. Cameroon, permanent holders of the previous trophy, were the first nation to be awarded the new trophy after they won the 2002 edition.

Results

Year Host nation Final Third Place Match
Champion Score Second Place Third Place Score Fourth Place
1957 4 - 0 ( disqualified)(1)
1959 2 - 1(2) (only three teams participated)
1962 4 - 2

aet
3 - 0
1963 3 - 0 3 - 0
1965 3 - 2

aet
1 - 0
1968 1 - 0 1 - 0
1970 3 - 2 3 - 1
1972 3 - 2 5 - 2
1974 2 - 2 aet

2 - 0 replay
4 - 0
1976 1 - 1(3) 3 - 2(3)
1978 2 - 0 2 - 0(4)
1980 3 - 0 2 - 0
1982 1 - 1 aet

(7 - 6) penalties
2 - 0
1984 Ivory Coastmarker 3 - 1 3 - 1
1986 0 - 0 aet

(5 - 4) penalties
3 - 2
1988 1 - 0 1 - 1 aet

(4 - 3) penalties
1990 1 - 0 1 - 0
1992 0 - 0 aet

(11 - 10) penalties
2 - 1
1994 2 - 1 3 - 1
1996 2 - 0 1 - 0
1998 2 - 0 4 - 4(5)

(4 - 1) penalties
2000 &

2 - 2 aet

(4 - 3) penalties
2 - 2 aet

(4 - 3) penalties
2002 0 - 0 aet

(3 - 2) penalties
1 - 0
2004 2 - 1 2 - 1
2006 0 - 0 aet

(4 - 2) penalties
1 - 0
2008 1 - 0 4 - 2
2010


(1) In 1957, was disqualified from the tournament due to Apartheid.

(2) In 1959, the three teams played each other once. In the last game of the tournament, Egypt's 2-1 victory over Sudan made Egypt champions

(3) There was no official final match in 1976, as the tournament was decided in a final group contested by the last four teams.

(4) In 1978, third place was awarded to Nigeria 2-0 after Tunisia walked off with the third-place match tied 1-1 in the 42nd minute.

(5) No extra time was played.



Statistics

Most championships won

Map of the number of championships in African Cup of Nations


Wins Nation Year(s)
1 6 times 1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008
2 4 times 1984, 1988, 2000, 2002
- 4 times 1963, 1965, 1978, 1982
4 2 times 1968, 1974
- 2 times 1980, 1994
6 1 time 1990
- 1 time 1972
- 1 time 1992
- 1 time 1962
- 1 time 1976
- 1 time 1996
- 1 time 1970
- 1 time 2004


Most appearances in the final match

7

6

3

2











(once as )
1











Tournament appearances

Appearances Nation
21
17
16
15 (once as , Congo-Kinshasamarker & Congo-Leopoldvillemarker)



13





11
9

7

6 (once as )



5



4
3

2









1







Most tournaments hosted

Hosts Nation Year(s)
4 times 1959, 1974, 1986, 2006
4 times 1963, 1978, 2000^, 2008
3 times 1962, 1968, 1976
3 times 1965, 1994, 2004
2 times 1980, 2000^
2 times 1957, 1970
1 time 1990
1 time 1998
1 time 1972
1 time 1982
1 time 1984
1 time 2002
1 time 1988
1 time 1992
1 time 1996


Other future hosts:

(2010)
(2012^)
(2012^)
(2014)


  • ^ Co-hosts


Overall top goalscorers

Goals Scorers
16 Samuel Eto'o
14 Laurent Pokou
13 Rashidi Yekini
12 Hassan El-Shazly
11 Hossam Hassan, Patrick Mboma
10 Kalusha Bwalya, Mulamba Ndaye, Francileudo Santos, Joel Tiéhi, Mengistu Worku
9 Abdoulaye Traoré
8 Pascal Feindouno, Wilberforce Kwadwo Mfum
7 Taher Abouzaid, Ali Abugresha, Benni McCarthy, Roger Milla, Jay-Jay Okocha


Top scorers by year

Year Player Goals
1957 Diab Mohammed Diab El-Attar (Ad-Diba) 5
1959 Mahmoud Al-Gohari 3
1962 Abdelfatah Badawi

Mengistu Worku
3
1963 Hassan El-Shazly 6
1965 Ben Acheampong

Osei Kofi

Eustache Manglé
3
1968 Laurent Pokou 6
1970 Laurent Pokou 8
1972 Salif Keita 5
1974 Mulamba Ndaye 9
1976 Keita Aliou Mamadou ‘N’Jo Léa’ 4
1978 Philip Omondi

Opoku Afriyie

Segun Odegbami
3
1980 Khaled Al Abyad Labied

Segun Odegbami
3
1982 George Alhassan 4
1984 Taher Abouzaid 4
1986 Roger Milla 4
1988 Lakhdar Belloumi

Roger Milla

Abdoulaye Traoré

Gamal Abdelhamid
2
1990 Djamel Menad 4
1992 Rashidi Yekini 4
1994 Rashidi Yekini 5
1996 Kalusha Bwalya

Mark Williams
5
1998 Hossam Hassan

Benedict McCarthy
7
2000 Shaun Bartlett 5
2002 Patrick Mboma

René Salomon Olembé

Julius Aghahowa
3
2004 Patrick Mboma

Frédéric Kanouté

Youssef Mokhtari

Jay-Jay Okocha

Francileudo dos Santos
4
2006 Samuel Eto'o 5
2008 Samuel Eto'o 5


General Statistics

Team P W D L GF GC Dif
84 45 15 24 139 82 +57
74 39 18 17 105 73 +32
67 36 19 12 104 59 +45
66 37 13 16 91 56 +35
68 28 16 24 98 81 +17
51 21 11 19 63 56 +7
51 18 19 14 59 46 +13
51 18 16 17 63 57 +6
50 16 18 16 66 63 +3
56 16 15 25 65 81 -16
43 15 11 17 49 40 +9
31 13 9 9 37 32 +5
32 10 11 11 45 48 -3
25 9 7 9 31 37 -6
20 6 5 9 24 31 -7
24 7 2 15 28 54 -26
22 5 6 11 21 34 -13
13 2 6 5 18 23 -5
18 2 6 10 13 32 -19
21 2 5 14 20 45 -25
8 2 4 2 8 9 -1
16 3 1 12 17 31 -14
14 1 4 9 8 24 -16
6 2 0 4 8 13 -5
5 1 2 2 5 7 -2
8 1 2 5 6 16 -10
3 1 1 1 3 3 0
5 1 1 3 2 11 -9
6 0 2 4 9 18 -9
3 0 1 2 3 6 -3
3 0 1 2 2 6 -4
9 0 1 8 2 19 -17
3 0 0 3 2 8 -6
6 0 0 6 2 15 -13


See also



References

  1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/africa/cup_of_nations/1709599.stm


Further reading



External links




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