How Does the African Cup of Nations Work?

Sports are often not something we misunderstand, but from time to time, it can happen that we fail to grasp the rules or know the details and nuances of a sport. Avid sports bettors know all the rules and then some, always a step ahead. This is why punters make great use of bonus codes like this Marathonbet Offer.

It helps to know the rules if you want to participate or even observe a sport. That being said, even if we know the rules of a sport, we may not know the rules and details of the sport’s many tournaments. Such is the case with football and the African Cup of Nations. As the name suggests, it is an international event limited to Africa, but what more can we learn about it. Here is a brief historical overview of the African Cup of Nations. 

The Origins of the African Cup of Nations

The inaugural African Cup of Nations was held in 1957 with three participating countries, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan. Egypt was first with a score of 4 to 1. South Africa was supposed to participate in the inaugural AFCON, but their apartheid situation was problematic for the spirit of the competition. 

The origin of the AFCON dates to a FIFA congress in Lisbon, in 1956. The cup was proposed alongside the formation of the Confederation of African Football. These were two very important steps in the foundation of African football as we know it today. The first cup was held in February 1957, whilst the meeting was in June 1956. The first tournament had no qualifications and only three participants.

The African Cup of Nations Through the Decades

Given the popularity of football all over the world, the AFCON was also a popular sports event. During the previous century, it was not as popular as it is today, but it was definitely something that citizens of African countries paid close attention to. The world was also paying attention because African national teams would also end up competing at the World Cup.

Egypt is the AFCON’s most winningest national team, with 7 titles. They won the inaugural tournament, as well as the 1959 edition. They also had one victory in the 1980s and one in the 1990s. The major changes to the AFCON happened near the end of the 2010s.

A Larger AFCON

Tournaments expanded and as more and more countries started playing football in Africa, the AFCON had to expand to accommodate more national teams. With the 2019 AFCON, the list grew from 16 to 24 teams. When a tournament expands, it also gains more traction, which is what happened. However, then the global pandemic happened, which made the tournament’s life tougher. Being biannual, the 2021 edition was easier to organize than it would have been in 2020.

The tournament luckily moved to odd years in 2013, so that it would not be held in the same years like the World Cup.

Like most international tournaments, the African Cup of Nations pits the best African national football teams against each other, biannually.