The very first African Cup of Nations tournament was held over six decades ago or more specifically in February of 1957. In the first tournament, the national football team of Egypt claimed the trophy after defeating the national team of Sudan.
The tournament was held in Khartoum, Sudan and only one more team besides Egypt and Sudan participated, the national team of Ethiopia. The national team of South Africa was also supposed to appear in the first Africa Cup of Nations tournament, but the team was disqualified.
In the first tournament, only two matches were played. In the first match, Egypt defeated Sudan two to one. In the second match of the tournament, Egypt defeated Ethiopia four to zero, and all four goals for the team of Egypt were scored by amazing El-Diba.
Over the years, the format of the tournament changed a couple of times. The number of teams participating went from three to twenty-four. With more teams participating, the African Cup of Nations introduced more qualifying rounds.
Today, this is the most prestigious football competition in Africa. It is hosted by the CAF (Confédération Africaine de Football) every two years. Needless to say, the biggest African football competition is closely followed by all fans of sports betting in Nigeria and other participating countries.
The African Cup of Nations 2022
The thirty-third edition of the African Cup of Nations will kick off on the 9th of January and it will last until the 6th of February. Originally, the tournament was scheduled to start in June of 2021.
However, the organizer announced in January of 2020 that the tournament will be postponed due to harsh climatic conditions. The thirty-third edition of the African Cup of Nations was postponed once again.
In June of 2020, the Confédération Africaine de Football announced that the tournament will be played in January of 2022 due to the Covid-19 restrictions, and here we are, just several days away from the big day.
The Japoma Stadium in Douala has a capacity of 50,000 spectators, while the Olembe Stadium in Yaoundé has a capacity of 60,000 spectators.
The Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaoundé with a capacity of 42,500 spectators will also host African Cup of Nations 2022 matches, alongside the Limbe Stadium, Kouekong Stadium, and Roumdé Adjia Stadium.
The national team of Algeria is the defending champion. In addition to Algeria, twenty-three other national teams participate, including Cameroon, Senegal, Mali, Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Comoros, Gabon, Gambia, Egypt, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Nigeria, Sudan, Malawi, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, and Sierra Leone.
The final draw for the upcoming African Cup of Nations tournament was scheduled to take place in June of 2021. However, it was postponed to August this year.
The twenty-four teams compete in six groups and each group has four teams. In Group A, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, and Ethiopia will try their best to advance to the knockout stage.
On the 9th of January when the tournament starts, six matches will be played between teams from Group A. In Group B, we have Zimbabwe, Senegal, Malawi, and Guinea, while Group C includes Comoros, Morocco, Ghana, and Gabon.
Participating teams from Group B and C will play their first matches on the 10th of January. Teams in Group D, including Sudan, Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau, and Egypt will play their first matches on the 11th of January.
Group E includes Algeria, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and Equatorial Guinea. These teams will also play their first matches on the 11th of January. The teams from Group F, including Tunisia, Mauritania, Mali, and the Gambia start their matches on the 12th of January.