African Cup of Nations (AFCON) is the biggest Football competition in the African Continent.
The competition played every two years is one if the most interesting, dramatic and energy filled Football tournaments in the World.
Organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the Total African Cup of Nation 2019 is the 32nd edition of the men’s football competition in Africa. The 2019 Africa cup of nations date is set for Friday, 21 June and will end on Friday, 19 July.
Here is AFCON 2019 fixtures, groups and schedules.
From just 3 teams participating in the competition in 1957, the championship has grown to 24 teams battling for the same glory.
When was the Nations Cup first launched?
The first edition of the competition was held in 1975 and was hosted by Sudan.
Although the competition was supposed to have all four of the founding nations participating in that first tournament, it ended up being played by 3 teams (Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan) since South Africa got disqualified for insisting on using only white players for the competition.
Something that attracted so many criticisms around the world especially among the people of colour.
In 1959, Egypt hosted the second edition of the championship and has since then hosted the competition 5 times, making it the country that has hosted it the most.
Although the 2019 edition was initially supposed to be hosted by the defending champions Cameroon, they ended up having their hosting right stripped due to the slow manner at which they prepared themselves for the competition.
Let’s now have a look at AFCON winners history.
African Cup Of Nations Winners Since 1957
Since its inception, only 14 countries have had the privilege of winning the AFCON competition. See the list of AFCON winners since 1957 below:
- Egypt – 7 times
- Cameroon – 5 times
- Ghana – 4 times
- Nigeria – 3 times
- Ivory coast – 2 times
- DR. Congo – 2 times
- Zambia – Once
- Tunisia – Once
- Sudan – Once
- Algeria – Once
- Ethiopia – Once
- Morocco – Once
- South Africa – Once
- Congo – Once
From the foregoing, you can now tell which country has won the most African Cup of Nations titles, right?
Egypt remains top of the AFCON past winners list, having won the competition for a record of 7 times.
Being the country with the most successful at AFCON, they are considered big favourites to win the 2019 edition as well.
They are followed closely by Cameroon and Ghana.
The list above obviously answers the question of how many times has Nigeria won the African Cup of Nations and that’s three times.
Highest Goal Scorers
Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon currently tops the list of all-time leading goalscorers in the competition with 18 goals.
He is followed closely by Laurent Pokou of Ivory Coast (14 goals) and Nigeria’s Rashidi Yekini (14 goals ).
Others on the list include Hassan El Shazly of (12 goals ), Patrick Mboma (11), Hossam Hassan (11) and Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast (11).
Ndaye Mulamba of Zaira heads the top goal scorer for a single tournament, having scored 9 goals in the 1974 AFCON competition.
Samuel Eto’o alongside Kalusha Bwalya and Asamoah Gyan also tops the list of players that have scored in different tournaments.
Total Goals Scored In AFCON
So far, a total number of 1567 goals have been scored in the AFCON competition from 1957 to 2017 by all the participating teams put together.
The most goals scored in a single tournament is 99 and that was during the 2008 edition in which a total of 32 matches were played by 16 teams.
- Egypt is the first and the only African nation to win the continent’s cup competition 3 consecutive times (2006, 2008 and 2010). Only three countries all over the world have also achieved this feat apart from Egypt: Argentina, Mexico and Iran
- The 2019 edition is first to be played during June/July football period. Before now, the competition was always played during the January period which greatly affected African Players in different football clubs and leagues around the world.
- The 2019 edition of the Nations Cup is also the first edition to feature 24 teams. Prior to this year’s competition, it was played by 16 teams.
- The first team to host and win the nations cup the same year they hosted it is Egypt and that was in the year 1959. Other teams that have achieved this since Egypt did it include Ethiopia (1962), Ghana (1963), Sudan (1970), Nigeria (1980), Algeria (1990) South Africa (1996) and Tunisia (2004). Only Egypt and Ghana have done it more than once.
- Shiva N’zigou of Gabon is the first player to score in an AFCON competition at the age of 16. he has since then remained the tournaments youngest goal scorer.
- Hussan Hassan of Egypt remains the competition oldest goalscorer since scoring for Egypt against DR Congo on February 3, 2006, in Q 4-1 victory.
- Mahmoud El-Gohary of Egypt is the first man to win the competition on both as a player and coach. Only Stephen Keshi of Nigeria have achieved this great feat after him at South Africa 2013 Nations Cup.
- In 1959, Pal Titkos became the first foreign coach to win the AFCON competition. He was Egypt’s national team coach in 1959 and helped them win their first title.
How Much Is At Stake At AFCON 2019?
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations 2019 will see an increase in the prize money to be shared among participating teams.
A total of $15 million will be shared among the teams this year.
Unlike the previous years, whoever that emerged champions from the tournament this year will go home with a whopping $4.5million.
The runners up will get $2.5million from CAF for reaching the final.
The semi-finalists will get $2million each while the quarter-finalists will each get $1million for getting to that stage.
Video Assistant Referees
For the first time in the history of the competition video assistant referees (VAR) will be used starting from the quarter-finals of the 2019 competition.
Although VAR has its own challenges, I would have loved if it were used from the beginning of the competition instead of being left until the quarterfinals of AFCON 2019.
African Cup of Nations Qualifiers
For every AFCON competition, only the host Nation is given an automatic qualification, the rest of the teams will have to go through qualifying matches to be able to participate in the games.
Only in its earliest editions were the participating teams granted an automatic qualification to play in the tournament.
2021 Africa Cup of Nations
The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations will be the 33rd edition of the biennial international men’s football championship of Africa organized by CAF and will be hosted by Cameroon.