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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Beyond The Pitch: 2012 Africa Cup of Nations Preview

Image courtesy of CAF.

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BBC African Player of the Year in 2011, Andre Ayew of Ghana.
The 28th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations kicks-off on 21 January 2012 from the Western African nations of Equatorial Guinea and Gabon who are co-hosting the tournament. The first Africa Cup of Nations was held in Sudan during 1957, and the last event took place in Angola during 2010. The defending champion is Egypt; however, the Pharaohs - winners of the past three editions - surprisingly did not qualify for this edition.

History: Egyptian Excellence

Egypt holds the record for the most tournament wins with seven. Hassan Shehata, the former manager of Egypt, has won the most Africa Cup of Nations as a manager: three. The team in the current tournament with the most wins is Ghana at four; however, the Black Stars have not emerged as the victor since 1982. Another favorite in this tournament, Cote d’Ivoire, last won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1992. The Ivorians are also the team with the most previous appearances (18) from the current field of 16 teams. Ghana is close behind with 17 appearances, Tunisia and Zambia have 15, and Morocco has 14, respectively.

Egypt and Ghana have appeared the most times in the Cup final match - eight, respectively. Cameroon and Nigeria have the second-most Cup final game appearances with six, respectively (with both failing to qualify). The all-time record holder for goals is Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon with 18.

To read more of my guide at Beyond The Pitch, please click the image or here.

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