African Cup of Nations

The African Cup of Nations Tournament

The African Cup of Nations is the elite international football tournament of Africa, sanctioned by the Confederation of African Football. It is held every two years having first been held in 1957. During its history, Egypt has been the most successful nation winning the Cup on 7 occasions. Ghana and Cameroon have won 4 each while Nigeria and Congo each hold 2 titles, with 9 nations having won the tournament once. As of 2013, the tournament was switched to being held in odd-numbered years so as not to clash with the FIFA World Cup, the next tournament scheduled to be held in Gabon in 2017, during January and February.

And with such an exciting and celebrated history, the Nations Cup of is one of the many international tournaments that punters love to bet on, and the 2017 tournament will be no different, with a full range of bets and betting options being made available to all potential punters long before 2017 rolls around.

The inaugural 1957 tournament consisted of just three teams: Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia. South Africa were due to compete but were disqualified due to the apartheid policies of the government at the time. The first tournament took place in Khartoum, Sudan, and was won by Egypt. Since then, the tournament has seen exponential growth, and there are now in 2017, we see 16 teams compete in the tournament.

An Exciting Betting Fiesta

The tournament is one of the most colourful, pulsating, and unpredictable tournaments in the world and, in truth, is a tournament like no other. For example, the 2006 penalty shoot-out between Ivory Coast and Cameroon ended 12-11 to Ivory Coast. In no other professional tournament has there ever been a penalty shoot-out quite like it.

The qualification procedure for the competition is a fairly complicated procedure. It starts with a preliminary round where the four lowest ranked countries play. From these games, the two victors progress into the first round. The first round sees the two winners of the preliminary round and the 26 sides that didn’t qualify for the previous African Cup of Nations face off in a two legged knock-out.

The 14 victors then join the 16 teams that had qualified for the previous tournament in another two-legged knock-out format. The winners of these fixtures earn qualification into the 2017 tournament. The host nation does not have to qualify.

African Nation Cup Success

The most successful nation to date are Egypt. They have won the tournament seven times, three times more than Ghana. The Pharaohs won the first two tournaments and then added their third title in 1986 and their fourth in 1998. The glory days for Egypt came after the turn of the century; the side won three consecutive tournaments between 2006 and 2010. Along with Ghana, Egypt have also hosted the tournament a record number of times (four).

In personal records, Cameroon’s striker Samuel Eto’o has scored more African Cup of Nations goals than any other player, with 18 to his name. In second place is Ivorian Laurent Pokou. Rigobert Song, also of Cameroon, has played in a record 33 fixtures, and has made eight tournament appearances, level only with Ahmed Hassan of Egypt. Hassan and fellow Egyptian Essam El-Hadary have won a record four titles each.