All champions in African Cup of Nations
|Egypt||7||1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010|
|Cameroon||5||1984, 1988, 2000, 2002, 2017|
|Ghana||4||1963, 1965, 1978, 1982|
|Nigeria||3||1980, 1994, 2013|
|Ivory Coast||2||1992, 2015|
|DR Congo||2||1968, 1974|
African Cup of Nations (abbreviated – African Cup or Nations Cup) is the tournament, which is attended by the strongest teams of the African continent. It is held once every two years and has a two-stage structure: first, a qualifying tournament is held, after which teams that have won trips to the final tournament reveal the strongest.
Difference between CAF Confederation Cup and African Nations Championship
African Nations Championship is a tournament in which member countries of the African Football Confederation (CAF) can take part. In the final, 16 teams are played; matches are played according to the usual scenario for continental forums with so many participants: group stage (4 groups of 4 teams) and playoffs from the quarterfinal to the final. Each of the six regional zones of the KAF has certain quotas: Northern – 2, Western A – 2, Western B – 3, Central – 3, Central Eastern – 3 and Southern – 3 (the tournament host automatically gets a seat). Within these zones, teams qualify in one or two stages. CHAN is held in January-February in those years when there is no African Nations Cup. Accordingly, if there are no CAN reforms (for example, the transition from even to odd years in 2012-2013) – every two years. As can be understood from the previous paragraph, CHAN is a minor tournament. Unlike the Cup, where all the strongest players can play with a certain country’s passport, in the African Nations Championship the colors of their homeland have the right to protect only those players who compete in the domestic championship of the country. Neither representatives of European clubs, nor representatives of other African leagues can be claimed.
The Zambian national team for the first time became the winner of the African Cup of Football
The African Cup of Nations is a tournament that has a special image in the football world: these are almost childish emotions along with samples of higher football skills. The plot of these tournaments sometimes turns into a Latin American TV series, and sometimes with Shakespeare’s tragedy. After the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Zambia seemed to have a bright football future. Then the Zambians defeated the Italians 4: 0, while Kalush Bvalia, the leader of the team with 6 goals scored, shared 2nd place with the player of the USSR national team Igor Dobrovolsky in the list of scorers in the Olympic tournament. But on April 27, 1993, tragedy occurred. The military plane on which the Zambian team flew to meet with the Senegal national team in the qualifying tournament for the World Cup fell into the sea. All 18 players died, but the best Zambian footballer Kalush Bvalia at that time traveled to Senegal on his own and avoided death. As is often the case, the tragedy rallied the national team: in 1994, Zambia won the silver medals of the African Nations Cup, losing to Zaire in the final and in 1996 won the bronze medal of the tournament.
Then the losing streak until 2010 came when Zambia reached the quarter-finals. This is primarily due to the fact that among the “copper bullets” – this is the self-name of the Zambian team – there are no well-known legionnaires from the major European championships. Zambia’s strongest player in the championship of China! And such a team won against all the favorites of the African Cup, having won a very strong Ghana national team in the semifinals, and in the dramatic finals – the Ivory Coast national team, which includes players from Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea. As if African sorcerers enchanted the gates of Zambia – in the main time of the finals the leader of the Côte d’Ivoire and Chelsea Didier Drogba did not score a penalty, and the decisive miss in the long penalty shootout was made by the Arsenal player Zhervino.
We have to admit that this victory is almost entirely due to the 42-year-old French coach Herve Renard, who managed to instill in the reckless and overly emotional Zambians a taste for playing discipline, as the USSR coach Valery Nepomnyashchy once worked with the team in Cameroon. Before the tournament, Renard, for example, was not afraid to expel Clifford Mulenga, the best young player in Africa of 2007, from the team for not arriving at the hotel by the due date and refused to apologize. However, after the victory, Renard imbued with the spirit of African football and spoke accordingly: “I am the only one! I am the elected coach of Africa!” Earlier, Renard led the national team of Zambia in 2008-2010 then returned to the team in 2011, and for sure now he will have to prepare the team for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Until 1967, national teams were forbidden to attract to the games “legionnaires”: football players who played outside of Africa. After KAF, it made concessions, allowing each team to attract two players from abroad, and a real breakthrough occurred in 1982, when all restrictions on their / others were completely removed.
In general, it is not a secret to anyone that the change of hosts for a tournament is quite a familiar phenomenon. So, in 2000, he did not overpower the financial pressure of preparing Zimbabwe, so Ghana and Nigeria had to jointly take on the tug. It was one of two cases when two countries took the final tournament at once. In 2013, Libya refused to hold the tournament because of the civil war (for which she was then deprived of a place in the tournament in general). Two years later, the Ebola virus had already intervened, because of the fear of the epidemic which it did not dare to host the strongest of Morocco. It was expected, by the way, that the current CAS will still be held in Libya, but the unstable situation in the country again affected, so the choice fell on Gabon. Even the first tournament was moved from its previously agreed location (Egypt) to Sudan due to the Suez crisis.
One of the greatest comebacks in the history of football was held precisely at CAN. In 2010, Angola hosted the tournament, and even the country’s president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, honored his presence with the presence of the hosts against Mali. At first, everything was great: two realized penalties plus two goals from the game – and by the 74 minute the score is 4: 0. But eleven minutes before the end of the main time began the revival of the Phoenix. Seydou Keita (twice), Frederic Kanoute and Mustafa Yatabare not only reduced the difference, but evened the score. The case when silent misunderstanding of the head of the country and 50 thousand spectators in the stands is the best reaction to what is happening.
It was 2010 that was remembered as one of the most tragic episodes in the history of the final parts of the tournament. Two days before the start of the Cup, the Togo national team was attacked by terrorists. The team, along with its headquarters, crossed the province of Cabinda, which at that time was fighting for its independence from Angola, and was hit by machine gun fire. Later, the forward of the national team, Thomas Dossevi, will say: “It was a real hell. Twenty minutes of shooting, blood and fear. They shot at us with machine guns, like dogs.” A total of three people were killed (assistant coach, driver and sports commentator), another nine were injured of varying degrees of severity.
Between these changes there was another rather curious event, covered with many secrets and legends, which for many years only went even deeper into the local tribes. In 1970, the tournament hosted Sudan, which by hook or by crook still managed to crawl to the final. Ghana was waiting for him there. For most of the meeting, the nominal hosts led, but before the final whistle the “black stars” still managed to level the score. True, the referee did not count the goal because of offside, soon giving the final whistle. The losers refused to receive the finalists’ medals, which the Minister of Defense Gaafar Nimeiri should have fastened on their neck. After such a move, Sudan issued an ultimatum to the Ghana team to leave the country within 24 hours, which was done.
The return of big football to South Africa took place only in 1991, when the country’s constitutionally written norms on one-race teams were crushed to dust. In the qualifications for the CAS-1994 and the 1994 World Cup, Bafana-Bafana looked at the new environment, firing in 1996. At the home forum, South Africans won thanks to two goals from Mark Williams – another man with an interesting fate. Nominally, the reserve forward team entered the field during the second half and scored a double within two hundred seconds.
In general, one can only assume that everything would have ended with a fabulous victory, if the trophy holder of the current trophy of Nigeria arrived at the tournament. However, due to the conflicts of the two governments, the “superorls” had to be content with victories in other tournaments for example, at the Atlanta Olympics. By the way, that tournament should have been held in Kenya in general, but in such a country far from us, apparently in the best traditions of respected people from Grushevskogo street, 5 in Kiev, they first do and then think, because having received the right to host the African Cup, the organizers soon forced to refuse a refusal for financial reasons.