The CAF Africa Cup of Nations also referred to as AFCON or TOTAL Africa Cup of Nations after its headline sponsor is the main men’s association football competition in Africa. Its sanctioned by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and was first held in 1957.
Since 1968, it has been held after 2 years switching to odd numbered years in 2013. In the first edition in 1957 there were only 3 participants in the competition that is Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan. South Africa was originally scheduled to compete but was disqualified due to the Apartheid policies by the government then in power. Since then the tournament has grown successfully making it possible to hold a qualifying tournament.
The number of participants in the final competitions reaches 16 in 1998 and until 2017 the format had not been changed with the finalist being grouped in 4 group stages and the top 2 in each group advancing to the knock out stage. On 20th July 2017, AFCON was moved from January to June and from 16 to 24 teams to participate in the finals of the competition.
Egypt is the most successful nation in the competitions history having won the Cup 7 times. Three different trophies have been awarded in the tournaments history with Ghana and Cameroon winning the 1st two versions to keep after each of them won the tournament 3 times. The current trophy was awarded in 2002 and with Egypt winning indefinitely after winning their 3rd unprecedented third consecutive title. As of 2013, the tournament was switched to be held in odd years as not to clash with FIFA World Cup
Algeria are the defending champions of AFCON after defeating Senegal by 1:0 thanks to Baghdad Bounedjah who scored in the 2nd minute at the Cairo International Stadium in Egypt.
The next edition of AFCON will be held in January 2022 and the favorites for this competition are currently Senegal who ranks above all African nations according to FIFA and of course the other favorite is Algeria who are the defending champions. Cameroon being the official host of the competition according to CAF, they also stand a chance to be looked at as favorites due to the home advantage
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