HISTORY OF AFCON

Now that the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations is just around the corner let’s remember the birth of football in Africa.
Started in June 1956 at the FIFA congress in Lisbon.

The first African Cup of Nations was held the following year in Sudan, but it included only four nations: Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, and South Africa. South Africa was struggling with the worldwide boycott due to its apartheid regime, which also explains why their team consisted of only white players.

The country was hence disqualified, leaving Ethiopia to the final match to play against Egypt. In the end, Egypt was the first champion. Egypt –as the winning team – hosted the next cup and won a second time.

The third AFCON was held in Addis Ababa with nine teams competing for qualification. The final four consisted of Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Tunisia with Ethiopia winning the cup.

The 1960s marked the entrance of Ghana into the games. Their first appearance was in 1963, where they won against Sudan and became the champion for the first time. Two years later, they competed with a completely different team, yet they managed to win again.

In 1968, the quota of the final tournament was increased from 4 to 8 with 22 teams competing for qualification. Once qualified, the eight teams competed for the semifinals in two separate groups of four. The four winning teams then competed for the grand finale. DRC was the winner of 1968 after beating Ghana.

The matches were aired on TV for the first time in 1970. The 70s was the decade of the first time. The 1974 Cup was the first and only time the final game had to be repeated because the first game ended up in a tie.

Morocco won for the first time in 1976 while Ghana won for the third time in 1978. This victory made Ghana the first nation to win three championships. Also, DRC became the first African nation to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in 1974.

During the 1980s, Cameroon made a significant breakthrough, winning two of the five games and reaching the final in a third cup. Algeria was also dominant, reaching the semifinals in almost all of the games except the AFCON in 1986. They eventually won in 1990.

The 1990s was a turning point in AFCON because the concept of the quarterfinals was introduced, for which 12 teams qualified. Ivory Coast was the first winner of this new system.

Another major event of the 90s was the revival of South Africa since they made their first appearance after the boycott was lifted with the end of Apartheid in 1994. South Africa hosted the games in 1996, where the final tournament quota was increased to 16. They won the competition that year and reached the final the following year.

During the late 90s and the 00s, Egypt outshined by winning three more titles and having six in total. Egypt was also the first team to win three times in a row in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

The 2000s was also the beginning of signing overseas players for the African teams; however, this caused severe time conflicts as the other continental football matches clashed with AFCON. Starting from 2013, the tournament has been held in only odd-numbered years to avoid time conflicts with the World Cup.

AFCON, Africa Cup of Nations 2019

There were several political conflicts in Africa in the 2010s that disrupted the tournament. The civil wars in North Africa prevented their teams from either hosting or joining the cups. Besides, the 2015 game suffered a few relocations and delays due to the Ebola virus epidemic.
Currently, AFCON continues without further disruption. The 2019 game going on in Egypt. Has 24 teams instead of 16.

 

Source: Research/Wiki/Ghana Education/African Studies

Football Spotlight: It’s really amazing to see Inkoom in great shape and playing so well!  Would be great to have the International Professional Footballer/Bulgarian defender back with the BlackStars in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualification!

We’ve heard names like John Antwi, Felix Annan, Nana Ampomah, Majeed Ashimeru, Joseph Aidoo mentioned by few people. Is this true or is speculations?

Does anyone know who’s qualified for the upcoming games? 

International Professional Footballer Inkoom, currently plays as a defender for Bulgarian First League club Dunav Ruse.

 

Inkoom who is known for his phenomenal technique and speed on the field is definitely excelling in his new club.

As you may recall, Inkoom has joined the Bulgarian top-flight side FC Dunav Ruse in January, this year and signed a 18-months contract.

Ghana defender Samuel Inkoom joined Bulgarian top-flight side Danuv Ruse in January

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FOOTBALL SPOTLIGHT

Athlete Spotlight: ‘Am proud of my Country, No one can stop me from serving my country.. Ghana made me who I am today…”  ~ Asamoah Gyan

Ghanaian professional footballer Asamoah Gyan has taken to his Twitter to squash rumours that his proposed move to Reading has fallen through because he failed his medicals.

Reading Club confirmed to BBC Radio Berkshire Reading that Asamoah Gyan will not be joining the Championship club Reading.

asamoah Gyan

Noooooooooo! We were all looking forward to Baby Jet moving over here to Reading, Berkshire. The Chinese Super League side Ghanaian player would have been on loan to Championship club Reading.

Gyan took to his Twitter with the QUOTE below:

‘Am proud of my Country, No one can stop me from serving my country.. Ghana made me who I am today..’

Though he hasn’t made an official statement to confirm that the loan deal did not go ahead because of the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, one can only conclude that might be the reason.

Do you know Asamoah Gyan gives back to his country a lot?  From building water pumps to donating to charities and now the $200,000 Astro turf for his alma mater, Accra Academy School. Keep up the good work!

Take heart Gyan all will be well! We love you!

Photo Credit: Asamoah Gyan

Gyan Ranked 4th Best Striker Worldwide

Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan has been ranked as the 4th best striker in the world in 2014 by respected French football magazine L’Equipe.

asamoah Gyan

The Al Ain goal-machine came behind Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who raked in 61 goals in the year under review.

His sworn rival Lionel Messi came second with 51 goals and Red Bull Salzburg striker Jonathan Soriano with 55 goals.

Gyan has become an amazing scoring freak since joining the gulf side in 2012 where he has emerged goal king in the last two years.

He netted 22 times for the United Arab Emirates side in the League, three in the UAE President’s Cup, 12 in the Asian Champions League and six during the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers for the Black Stars.

He also emerged Africa’s all-time leading scorer at the World Cup, surpassing the record held by Cameroonian legend Roger Milla.

Asamoah Gyan is one of the best strikers in the world!

Credit: GHANAsoccernet

Gyan Brothers.j.
Asamoah Gyan and his senior brother Baffour Gyan
Gyan Brothers
Asamoah Gyan and his senior brother Baffour Gyan

Asamoah Gyan and his two senior brothers Baffour Gyan and Nana Opoku Gyan have thanked the Ghanaian Press for their immense publicity for  all other activities in 2014.

Ahead of the highly anticipated bout between Emmanuel ‘Game Boy’ Tagoe and Sadiki Momba, bankroller of Baby Jet Promotions,  Gyan arrived at the Kotoka International Airport around 13:00 GMT Tuesday in the company of his elder brothers Baffour and Opoku to prepare for the bout.

The Black Stars captain and his entire team were remorseful for delaying a final presser for the Tagoe- Momba bout, and took the opportunity to thank the media for their patience and support for the family and all their activities.

The two boxers will square off in what is expected to be a thrilling bout on Boxing Day.

The Ghana captain will later link up with the Black Stars for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations campaign by next week.

The former Sunderland striker just finished the first half of the season with Al Ain where he helped the side move joint top in the Arabian Gulf League.

Nice to know that Asamoah Gyan intends to  invest in into the development of boxing in Ghana.

Credit: By Tony Bebli of Myjoyonline