What is the African Cup of Nations

What is the African Cup of Nations

Liverpool face the daunting prospect of losing Mo Salah to the African Cup of Nations for 3 weeks in January.  But what is the competition, where is it held and who are the favourites to win?

Egypt begin their African Cup of Nations campaign against Mozambique on the 14th January 2024.  By the time the competition ends four weeks later, Salah would potentially have missed games against Chelsea, Arsenal, Bournemouth and Burnley in the Premier League, as well as both legs of the Carabao Cup Semi Final, and the FA Cup 3rd round match against Arsenal.

It's not surprising then that Liverpool Manager, Jurgren Klopp, along with other European Managers, are unhappy at the timing of the event.  But what is the African Cup of Nations, and why is it so important to the people of Africa?

AFCON - A Brief History

First held in 1957, the African Cup of Nations, or AFCON, as it is often called, is the main men's international football tournament in Africa.  Since 1968, the competition has been held every two years, with a different host nation for each new competition.

Back in 1957, just 3 teams took part in the inaugral competition (Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia), but since then, the tournament has grown, with 54 countries now eligible to enter a qualifying tournament, and 24 teams making up the final.

Those 24 teams are split into six groups of four, with the top two teams from each group, as well as the four best third-placed teams progressing to a round of 16.  From there it is a straight forward knock-out tournament, with Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and the Final.

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AFCON 2024

Host Nation : Ivory Coast
Start Date : 13th January 2024
Date of the Final : 11th February 2024
Venue of Final : Alassane Ouattara Stadium, in Ebimpe
Current Champions : Senegal
Favourites to win in 2024 : Senegal
Country with the most victories : Egypt - 7 Titles

Who are Egpyt grouped with?

Egypt have been drawn in Group B of the tournament, alongside Mozambique, Ghana and Caope Verde.  Both Ghana and Egypt are considered strong contenders to win the tournament, so it will be interesting to see which team tops the group.

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... About The Author ...

Peter Farrell :: LFC - Back On Our Perch Author and Editor

Peter Farrell - Editor and Chief Article Writer, LFC - Back On Our Perch
Articles written by Author :: 553

Lifelong fan with a passion for all things Liverpool. First memory of football is watching John Barnes score a dramatic last minute equaliser in the FA Cup when he was 4. Feels lucky to be a part of the 'Klopp' era.

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