Africa Cup of Nations
The Africa Cup of Nations, also known as the AFCON, officially CAN (French for Coupe d’Afrique des Nations), is the main international association football (soccer) competition in Africa.
It was founded in 1957, sanctioned by the Confederation of African Football or CAF. It has been held every 2 years since 1968. Back then, there were only three participating countries—Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt. South Africa was supposed to compete but were disqualified due to apartheid policies of their government. The first tournament was won by Egypt.
In 1992, the final tournament participants were expanded to 12. Teams were divided into four groups of three, with the top two teams going to the quarter-finals.
In 1996, South Africa hosted the 20th Africa Cup of Nations after their long ban was lifted due to their country’s apartheid. Participants were expanded to 16, into four groups.
In the cup’s history, Egypt has been the most successful. They have won 7 times, including their famous match against United Arab Republic from 1958 to 1971. Ghana won 4 titles, also Cameroon.
The 2015 event was scheduled to be held in Morocco, but they withdraw as host of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations because of fears it would lead to a further spread of the Ebola virus. The host country became Equatorial Guinea.
The African Cup was switched to odd number years so it will not clash with the FIFA World Cup. This switch only happened in 2013.
The next events scheduled to be held:
- 2022 Jan-Feb, Cameroon (postponed from 2021)
- 2023 Ivory Coast
- 2025 Guinea