By John Essien
Cameroon will play host to the 33rd edition of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament — where 24 nations would do battle to adjourn the best in Africa from January 9 to February 6 2022.
Here are a few facts you should know about the continent’s most prestigious football event as anticipation surges.
First Country To Host AFCON
The Africa Cup of Nations was first held in February 1957 in Khartoum, Sudan, where Egypt defeated the host nation in the final to win the Abdel Aziz Abdallah Salem Trophy, named after its donor, an Egyptian who was the first President of the Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) – organizers of the tournament.
Country With the Highest AFCON Title
Egypt is the most successful nation in the AFCON history, winning the trophy for a record of seven times. Having won the inaugural edition of the cup in 1957, the Pharaohs went on to win it six other times in 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010, three of which were won on their home soil.
AFCON All-Time Top Scorer
The newly elected Cameroonian Football Federation President, Samuel Eto’o holds the record of the most goals scored in AFCON, having found the back of the net 18 times.
After making his debut for the Indomitable Lions in 1996 at just the age of 16, he went on to win AFCON with his team in 2000 and 2002. He emerged as the top scorer twice; in 2006 and 2008 editions, when he scored five goals each.
The now 40-year-old had the privilege of playing in six AFCON competitions, the last one coming in 2010.
Country With Most AFCON Appearances
The Pharaohs of Egypt hold the record for the most appearance at the AFCON since making her debut in Sudan, 1957.
Drawn in Group D alongside Nigeria, Sudan and Guinea Bissau, the North African giants are on quest for their eighth title in 24 appearances.
AFCON Youngest Goalscorer
Gabonese Shiva N’Zigou hold the record for the youngest goalscorer ever in the history of the competition, He was 16 years and 93 days old when he scored for Gabon against South Africa in a 1–3 defeat on 23 January 2000.
AFCON Oldest Goalscorer
Egypt’s Hossam Hassan is the oldest player to score in the African Cup of Nations at age 39 years and 174 days old. He scored for Egypt against DR Congo in a 4–1 victory on 3 February 2006.
Player With The Most AFCON Appearance
Cameroon legend Rigobert Song and Egypt’s Ahmed Hassan have both appeared in eight different occasions of the tournament –emerging as players with the most number of appearances.
They both made their debut in 1996 and called it time in 2010.
Meanwhile, Hassan who played for Zamalek SC remains the only player with the highest number AFCON title following his success with Egypt in 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010.
Fastest Goal Ever Scored In AFCON
Ayman Mansour of Egypt scored the fastest goal ever in the African Cup of Nations and it came just after 23 seconds of play in Egypt’s four nil thrashing of Gabon in 1994 AFCON held in Tunisia.
Highest Goalscorer In A Single AFCON Tournament
DR Congo legendary forward Pierre Ndaye Mulamba remains the record scorer in a single AFCON tournament with nine goals. His feat had led the team to only their second continental title in 1974. After tying Zambia 2−2 in the final, Congo went on to beat them 2−0 in the replay.
Most Goal Scored In A Single AFCON Match
Laurent Pokou (Cote d’Ivoire) scored the highest number of goals in a single match, five (5) goals in his side’s 6-1 victory over Ethiopia in 1970.
Country With Most Consecutive Appearances
The Carthage Eagles of Tunisia is the most country to appear at AFCON in consecutive appearances, fifteen (15) times (1994–2021).
Country With Longest Unbeaten Streak
Egypt has the longest unbeaten streak in AFCON history, 24 games between 2004 and 2017. During this period they have a record nine (9) consecutive wins
Individual To Win AFCON As Player And Coach
Only Nigeria’s Stephen Okechukwu Keshi (in 1994 as a player and in 2013 as a Manager) and Egypt’s Mahmoud El-Gohary (in 1959 as a player and 1998 as a Manager) have won the AFCON tournament as both player and coach.
Country With The Most Goals In AFCON History
Seven-time champions Egypt hold the record for the most goals in AFCON since their inaugural outing in 1957.
The Pharaohs have scored 164 goals and conceded 88, followed by Nigeria and Ghana who have scored 132 and 130 goals respectively.