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Africa Nations Cup

History

The biennual African Cup of Nations tournament has been played since 1957 and is thereby older than the corresponding European championship. In February 1957, beneath the heat of the Nubian Desert in Sudan, few could have predicted the expansion of the African Nations Cup.

That was precisely the aim of a meeting between seven delegates in Lisbon the previous year.

There the Confederation of African Football was formed and the organisation planned the first tournament for the following year in Khartoum.

However, as the start date drew near, there were a few hurdles to overcome, such as the exclusion of South Africa after the apartheid regime failed to approve a multi-racial team.

So with South Africa out, the tournment came down to a play-off between just three teams - Egypt, hosts Sudan and Ethiopia.

Ironically, 39 years later, at the end of apartheid, South Africa returned to rescue Caf by staging the expanded 16-team event after Kenya withdrew as hosts.

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia played the first two tournaments in odd years before it increased to four, six, eight, 12 and then 16 teams.

Every adjustment increased the chances of seeing the best players in the continent. Papa Camara, Petit Sory and Cherif Souleymane were the cream of an excellent Guinean side who could easily be compared to the devastating Nigerian and Cameroonian squads of the last decade.

Few Africans today would have heard of the Algerian Lalmas, Ghanaian dribbling wizard Osei Kofi or Ethiopian captain Italo Vassalo - they were among a host of legends to play in the Nations Cup tournaments of the 1960s.

Since the early days, North Africa - and Ghana in particular - has maintained its reputation, while the other pioneers Ethiopia and Sudan have deteriorated.

In the space of 30 years there has been an amazing shift of power - a classic between Ethiopia and Sudan (both former champions) in the 1960s is now overshadowed by a match between Cameroon against Nigeria.

COUNTRY WINNERS Second Place Third Place
Ghana 4 3 0
Egypt 4 1 3
Cameroun 4 1 0
Nigeria 2 4 5
RD Congo 2 0 1
Sudan 1 2 1
Algeria 1 1 2
Ethiopia 1 1 1
Morocco 1 1 1
Tunisia 1 2 1
Cote d'Ivoire 1 0 4
Congo 1 0 0

ANC Winners

1957 - Egypt
1959 - Egypt
1962 - Ethiopia
1963 - Ghana
1965 - Ghana 
1968 - DR Congo (Zaire)
1970 - Sudan
1972 - Congo
1974 - DR Congo
1976 - Morocco
1978 - Ghana 
1980 - Nigeria
1982 - Ghana 
1984 - Cameroon
1986 - Egypt
1988 - Cameroon
1990 - Algeria
1992 - Ivory Coast
1994 - Nigeria
1996 - South Africa
1998 - Egypt
2000 - Cameroon
2002 - Cameroon
2004 - Tunisia
2006 -

African Nations Cup hosts

1959 - Egypt
1962 - Ethiopia
1963 - Ghana
1965 - Tunisia
1968 - Ethiopia
1970 - Sudan
1972 - Cameroon
1974 - Egypt
1976 - Ethiopia
1978 - Ghana
1980 - Nigeria
1982 - Libya
1984 - Ivory Coast
1986 - Egypt
1988 - Morocco
1990 - Algeria
1992 - Senegal
1994 - Tunisia
1996 - South Africa
1998 - Burkina Faso
2000 - Ghana and Nigeria
2002 - Mali
2004 - Tunisia