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 Africa Cup Of Nations Informative Facts –

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Diversity Of AFCON Squads - French Ligue 1 And Premier League Dominate -

With just hours before the battle lines are officially drawn in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Cote d’Ivoire 2023, CAFOnline.com takes a look at some interesting records and statistics of the tournament.

  • The first AFCON tournament took place in Sudan in 1957.
  • Only three countries, hosts Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia, took part in the first tournament in February 1957 and there was no qualifying competition.
  • South Africa were also invited to the first Africa Cup of Nations tournament in 1957 but their invitation was later withdrawn as a result of the countries apartheid laws.
  • Egypt defeated hosts Sudan in the first game played at the AFCON winning 2-1 on 10thJanuary 1957.
  • Raafat Attia scored the first goal at an AFCON tournament when he opened the scoring for Egypt in their 2-1 Semi-final win over hosts Sudan in 1957.
  • Egypt defeated Ethiopia 4-0 in the final to win the first AFCON Tournament in 1957.
  • Egypt won the first two AFCON Tournaments in 1957 and 1959 while they were runners up in 1962, losing to hosts Ethiopia in the final.
  • Cote d’ Ivoire are hosting the Africa Cup of Nations for a second time, they hosted the tournament for the first time in 1984.
  • When the Cote d’Ivoire hosted the AFCON in 1984 eight nations participated five of those countries will be joining the hosts again they are Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana and Nigeria. Missing out are Malawi and Togo.
  • Egypt have won the most AFCON Titles (seven), followed by Cameroon (five), Ghana (four), Nigeria (three) and the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Ivory Coast (two each).
  • Egypt and Ghana have both reached 9 AFCON Finals while Egypt have won seven, Ghana have four wins while Cameroon have played in seven finals winning five.
  • Cote d’Ivoire have appeared in four AFCON Finals in 1992, 2006, 2012 and 2015 and in 480 minutes of play in AFCON finals have failed to produce a single goal they won on penalties after extra time in 1992 and 2015 and lost on penalties after extra time in 2006, 2012 with all four games ending 0-0.
  • Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o is the leading overall Cup of Nations scorer, notching 18 goals in six tournaments between 2000 and 2010.
  • Egypt goalkeeper Essam el Hadary became the oldest player at 44 years and 21 days to feature in the tournament when he faced Cameroon in the 2017 final in Libreville as Egypt lost.
  • Only once in 2013 when South Africa played out a 0-0 draw against Cape Verde has the opening game of the Africa Cup of Nations ended 0-0.
  • The last host nation to reach the AFCON Finals was Egypt who won the title on home soil in 2006.
  • Egypt have reached the AFCON Final in five of the last six tournaments that they have participated in winning in 2006, 2008 and 2010 while they were runners up in 2017 and the 2021 edition. They only failed to do so in 2019 as hosts.
  • Four players Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o, Ghanaian duo Asamoah Gyan as well as Andre Ayew and Zambia’s Kalusha Bwalya have scored in 6 AFCON Tournaments no players have scored in more editions of the competition than them.
  • The 2023 AFCON will be the 34thedition of the tournament since its founding in 1957.
  • The AFCON has been expanded from a 16 tournament which it has been since 1996 to a 24- team event in 2019.
  • This is the third edition to have 24 teams participating.
  • 16 Players have scored 17 hat-tricks at the Africa Cup of Nations but none since Soufiane Alloudi scored three goals in Morocco’s 5-1 triumph over Namibia in the 2008 Group Stages.
  • Egypt have had five different players scoring six AFCON hat-trick no country has managed as many players to have scored a hat-trick at the tournament.
  • The first hat-trick at the Africa Cup of Nations was scored by Ad-Diba who scored all four of Egypt’s goals in their 4-0 triumph in the 1957 final victory over Ethiopia.
  • Egypt’s Hassan El-Shazly is the only player to have scored multiple hattricks at the Africa Cup of Nations, doing so in 1963 and 1970.
  • Egypt are the only team to have two players score a hattrick in the same game Hassan El-Shazly and Mohammed Morsi Hussein netted all their goals in a 6-3 win over Nigeria in a 1963 group stage encounter.
  • Egypt’s Ahmed Hassan and Cameroon’s Rigobert Song hold the record for the- most number of AFCON participations with each player having featured in 8 finals tournaments in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010. A record which could be tied by Ghana’s Andre Ayew at the next edition.
  • South Africa finished 1st(1996), 2nd (1998) and 3rd (2000) in the first three AFCON tournaments that they participated in.
  • Ghana’s Charles Gyamfi (1963–1965, 1982) and Egypt’s Hassan Shehata (Egypt 2006–2008-2010) are the only coaches to have won the title three times, Shehata is the only coach to have won the title in three successive tournaments.
  • Two persons Egypt’s Mahmoud El-Gohary (1959 as player, 1998 as coach) and Stephen Keshi, of Nigeria (1994 as player, 2013 as coach) have won the AFCON as a player and coach.
  • French man Herve Renard is the only coach to have won the AFCON with two different countries Zambia in 2012 and Cote D’Ivoire in 2015.
  • Senegal coach Aliou Cisse holds the unwanted record of losing in the final as both a player (2002) and coach (2019). He also now has won the tournament as a coach lifting the title with Senegal at the 2021 edition.
  • France have had five different coaches win six AFCON tournament the most of any country.
  • In 2004 Frenchman Roger Lemmere became the first coach to win the AFCON and the UEFA European Championship when he lead Tunisia to the title, in 2000 he lead France to the European Championships.
  • 44 Different African Nations have participated at the AFCON Comoros and Gambia were debutants at the last edition in Cameroon, there are now new comers in the Cote d’ Ivoire.
  • Egypt (1957), Ghana (1963), and South Africa (1996) are the only teams to have won the tournament in their debut appearance.
  • Starting in 2008 Ghana have reached the AFCON Semi-finals in six of the last eight tournaments and have been beaten finalists twice in that time losing to Egypt in 2010 and Cote D’Ivoire in 2017.
  • Tunisia have qualified for their 16thsuccessive AFCON tournament a run started in 1994. No team has ever managed 16 successive qualifications.
  • Egypt have played more games at the AFCON than any other team (107), they have won more matches than any other team (60), Ghana have played 102 games and won 54. Cote d’ Ivoire and Nigeria will join the centenary club they have current played 99 and 97 games respectively at the finals.
  • Ndaye Mulamba scored 9 goals for DR Congo at the 1974 AFCON no player has managed more in a single tournament.
  • The AFCON trophy has changed three times in history the first trophy the Abdelaziz Abdallah Salem Trophy the next trophy was the African Unity trophy, a new trophy which was commissioned in 2001 after Cameroon won the previous trophy for a third time in 2000.
  • Twelve former African Champions will be making their way to Cote d’Ivoire for the 2023 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations.
  • The top 15 ranked African teams have all qualified for the 2023 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations.
  • Five Southern African teams have qualified for the 2023 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, the most the COSAFA region has had at a single finals.
  • Each winner of the last 25 editions of the tournament from 1974 has qualified for the current edition of the finals, the last winner to miss out are the 1972 champions Congo.
  • Every finalists from the 1984 edition has reached the 2023 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, the last team to reach the final who have not qualified are 1982 runners up Libya.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Liberia, Eswatini hold upper hand in AFCON 2025 preliminary qualifiers –

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Liberia, Eswatini Hold Upper Hand In AFCON 2025 Preliminary Qualifiers -

After commanding victories in the first leg matches of the Africa Cup of Nations, Morocco 2025, qualifiers, Chad, Liberia, and Eswatini find themselves in advantageous positions as they gear up for the return fixtures scheduled for Tuesday.

As the second leg of the preliminary fixtures approach, all eyes will be on these teams as they vie for their coveted spots in the group phase of the qualifiers, with the hopes of making their mark on the continental stage.

Chad emerged victorious with a narrow 1-0 win over Mauritius, joining Liberia and Eswatini in the lead after their impressive triumphs earlier last week.

Liberia secured a 2-0 victory against Djibouti, while Eswatini displayed their dominance with a 3-0 win over Somalia.

The second leg promises to be fiercely contested, particularly for Chad, who will face a challenging encounter against Mauritius on the latter’s home turf.

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Coach Kevin Nicaise’s players are keen to defend their slender lead and secure their spot in the next phase of the qualifiers but the trainer admits they have an arduous task.

“We are far from perfect, far from being a top team in the world. We are in the construction phase. There are still things to work on and improve,” coach Nicaise said after their first-leg win.

“It is not overnight that we will be a top team in the world, we are aware of that, however we are working hard with the group and the staff to achieve this goal.”

Meanwhile, Liberia will host Djibouti, aiming to build on their first-leg success and seal their progression to the next round.

Eswatini will host Somalia with confidence, seeking to maintain their winning momentum and secure passage to the next stage of the tournament.

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South Sudan and Sao Tome and Principe will also face off in what is expected to be a closely contested encounter, following their goalless draw in the first leg.

With both teams eager for victory, the match promises to be a thrilling battle for supremacy.

-CAF

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Liberia and Eswatini take control of AFCON preliminary ties

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Liberia and Eswatini take control of AFCON preliminary ties

Liberia and Eswatini took commanding leads in their respective Africa Cup of Nations, Morocco 2025, preliminary round ties after claiming impressive away victories on Wednesday.

Liberia captain Murphy Dorley scored one of two first-half goals as the Lone Stars defeated hosts Djibouti 2-0 in the opening leg in  Marrakech.

Mohammed Sangare broke the deadlock from the penalty spot on 23 minutes before Dorley coolly slotted home Sebastian Teclar’s cross 12 minutes later.

Djibouti struggled to lay a glove on their more illustrious opponents as the Lone Star side kept them at bay to take two away goals into next week’s second leg in Monrovia.

Eswatini were also celebrating after demolishing Somalia 3-0 in the Moroccoan  city of El Jadida to put one foot in the group stage qualifiers.

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Striker Sabelo Ndzinisa was the hero, netting twice either side of Felicio Figuareido’s 40th minute opener for the visitors.

Somalia now face an uphill battle to qualify when they travel to the Mbombela Stadium in the South African city of Nelspruit for the return on March 26th.

The opening leg victories give Liberia and Eswatini a huge advantage heading into the second legs as they target a place in the group stage on the road to next year’s finals in Morocco.

Back from the locker room, Somalia still couldn’t play its game.

Worse, Eswatini widened the gap with Ginindza who scored his double of the evening in the 56th minute. 3-0, the score remained unchanged on the scoreboard until the final whistle.

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Victory for Eswatini which will still have to perform in the return leg to ensure its qualification for the qualifiers.

 

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Road to Morocco 2025 begins today

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Liberia and Eswatini take control of AFCON preliminary ties

Following last month’s grand closing to the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations held in Cote d’Ivoire where the hosts were crowned champions for the third time, Africa’s biggest competition is now shifting its focus to the 35th edition set to be held in Morocco next year.

A total of 52 Nations will be engaged to compete for a place in the 24-nation competition.

To mark the start of the qualifiers following the draw that was held in Cairo on 20 February 2024, eight lowest ranked nations will compete in the Preliminary Qualifiers starting on Wednesday, 20 March over a two-legged format that will decide the four nations that will join the other 44 African nations to make up the group stages of the qualifiers.

The CAF AFCON Morocco 2025 journey officially gets underway on Wednesday, 20 March with two fixtures as Somalia plays host to Eswatini, while Djibouti faces Liberia.

Two days later, Chad locks horns with Mauritius before Sao Tome and Principe takes on South Sudan.

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The return legs will conclude on Tuesday, 26 March with all matches set to take place on the day to officially decide the preliminary phase of the competition.

 

 AFCON Morocco 2025 Preliminary Qualifiers:

First Leg Fixtures:

Wednesday, 20 March 

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  • 18:00 GMT | Somalia – Eswatini
  • 22:00 GMT | Djibouti – Liberia

 

Friday, 22 March

  • 18:00 GMT | Chad – Mauritius
  • 19:00 GMT | Sao Tome and Principe – South Sudan

 

Return Leg Fixtures:

Tuesday, 26 March

  • 13:00 GMT | Eswatini – Somalia
  • 16:00 GMT | Liberia – Djibouti
  • 17:00 GMT | South Sudan – Sao Tome and Principe
  • 15:00 GMT | Mauritius – Chad
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