Top 10 AFCON facts
The African Cup of Nations has thrilled football fanatics for over 55 years. Here, we bring you all you need to know about the coveted continental competition.
Last Updated: 18/01/12 9:40am
* The Africa Cup of Nations, also known as the African Nations Cup, was first held in 1957 and just three teams took part in the fledgling tournament. Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia were the three participating nations, with South Africa disqualified due to the apartheid policies of their government at the time.
* Egypt may not be participating in this year's showpiece, but they are the competition's most successful team, with the 1-0 victory over Ghana in the 2010 final marking a seventh title for the Pharaohs.
* The AFCON has, for the most part, been staged every two years since it was held in Ethiopia in 1968. However, as of 2013, the tournament will switch to being held in odd-numbered years so as not to clash with the FIFA World Cup.
* Egyptian midfielder Ahmed Hassan is the only player to have won the tournament's MVP award more than once. The 36-year-old scooped the award in 2006, and again in 2010. On a side note, Hassan is the most capped male footballer in history with 179 appearances for Egypt.
* The most goals scored by a single player in the AFCON is nine and that accolade belongs to former Democratic Republic of Congo midfielder Ndaye Mulamba. Mulamba was nicknamed "Mutumbula" ("assassin") and also captained the Leopards in the 1974 World Cup in West Germany.
* The original AFCON trophy was named the Abdelaziz Abdallah Salem Trophy, after the first CAF president and was made of Silver. Ghana were handed the trophy permanently after winning the competition for a third time in 1978.
* Adidas are the manufacturers of the official match ball for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. It has been given the name Comoequa, which is derived from the Como River which runs through both host nations, as well as the equator which runs throughout Africa and unites both host nations.
* Former Cameroon international defender Rigobert Song set a new record in 2010 by playing in his eighth AFCON tournament. He competed in every final tournament since 1996. The 35-year-old also boasts the record for most number of consecutive appearances in the tournament with 35 first-team games.
* Cameroon international striker Samuel Eto'o is the all-time top scorer in the AFCON with 18 goals scored since making his debut in the competition in the 2000 showpiece. However, Eto'o will not have the chance to add to his AFCON tally in this year's tournament after Cameroon failed to qualify for this year's finals.
* Due to the fact that there are two hosts for the 2012 AFCON, the opening match, one semi-final and the third place match will be held in Equatorial Guinea, while the other semi-final and the final will be held in Gabon.