Written By: Ibrahim El-Shawarby
CAIRO, Jan.8 (SEE)- Now that Egypt is hosting it’s fifth African cup of nations, SEE reviews the four previous editions hosted by the state.
The 1959 African Cup of Nations was the second edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, the football championship of Africa (CAF). It was hosted and won by the United Arab Republic, a short-lived confederation between Egypt and Syria. Only three teams participated: host team United Arab Republic, Sudan and Ethiopia. All three matches took place in Cairo.
With only three teams, the format changed into a round robin group, but the results were the same, the United Arab Republic won over Ethiopia 4−0 and over Sudan 2−1. The Sudanese finished second, defeating Ethiopia 1−0. This edition will also be remembered because of the three coaches from Eastern Europe: the Czechoslovakian Starosta (Ethiopia) and Hada (Sudan), the Hungarian Pál Titkos, coach of Egypt.
Mahmoud El-Gohary, who would later become manager of the Egyptian team between 1988 and 2002, would be the top scorer of this edition of the tournament.
The 1974 African Cup of Nations was the ninth edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, the soccer championship of Africa (CAF). It was hosted by Egypt.
Unlike the current version of the Tournament which now features 24 teams, the 1974 version featured only eight teams.
The teams were split into two groups of four. Zaire won its second championship (their first win came as Congo-Kinshasa), tying Zambia 2−2 in the final and beating them 2−0 in the replay. Zaire went on to compete in the World Cup later that year.
Several Egyptian legends took part in the iconic tournament, as Ali Abo Gresha was the second biggest scorer of the tournament behind Ndaye Mulamba, scoring four goals. Egypt qualified as first for Group A for the tournament, before being eliminated by Zaire, but was successful in winning third place after defeating Congo with four goals.
The 1986 African Cup of Nations was the 15th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations. It was hosted by Egypt. Just like in 1984, the field of eight teams was split into two groups of four. Egypt won its third championship, beating Cameroon on penalty kicks 5−4 after a goalless draw.
Egypt was able to achieve an almost impossible task, defeating Cameroon which enjoyed it’s golden team at the time, lead by football legend Roger Milla.
In addition to winning the tournament, Egypt also achieved a great feat as five of it’s players made up the team of the tournament, the list includes Magdi Abdelghani , Moustafa Abdou, Taher Abouzaid, Rabei Yassin and Ali Shehata.
The 2006 Africa Cup of Nations was the 25th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, the association football championship of Africa. It was hosted by Egypt. Just like in 2004, the field of sixteen teams was split into four groups of four. Egypt won its fifth championship, beating Cote d’Ivoire in the final 4−2 in a penalty shootout after a goalless draw.
The organization of the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations was awarded to Egypt on 24 October 2002 by the CAF Executive Committee meeting in Cairo, Egypt. Voters had a choice between four countries: Algeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt and Libya. This is the fourth time that Egypt has hosted the African Cup after 1959, 1974 and 1986.