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Everything you need to know about AFCON
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Dan Fitch
Sadio Mane and Senegal won the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations
Sadio Mane and Senegal won the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations begins on Saturday with Senegal trying to defend the crown they won in February 2022.

Host nation Ivory Coast will be looking to dethrone the Lions of Teranga, as will leading contenders such as Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Morocco and Nigeria.

Ahead of the tournament, which runs from January 13 to February 11, we have provided everything you need to know about AFCON.

Past winners

Egypt have been the most consistent force at AFCON, winning the competition a record seven times.

Along with their victories in 1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010, the Pharaohs were beaten finalists in 1962, 2017 and 2021. 

Egypt hold the record for the most appearances in AFCON finals with 10, while Ghana have featured in nine — and won four of them.

Other nations with strong records include Cameroon with five wins from seven finals and Nigeria, who boast three victories from seven final appearances. 

Algeria, DR Congo and Ivory Coast have all won AFCON twice, while a further eight nations have a solitary victory (Zambia, Tunisia, Sudan, Senegal, Ethiopia, Morocco, South Africa and Congo).

Of the 24 teams appearing at the 2023 tournament, 12 are previous winners. 

Defending champions

Senegal's maiden victory in 2021 was a welcome relief after previous near misses this century, with the Lions of Teranga finishing as runners-up in both 2002 and 2019.

There have been a total of 33 tournaments held and in the 32 that followed the first competition in 1957, the defending champions have held on to their crown just five times.

The last nation to retain the trophy was Egypt back in 2010 and there have been six editions of AFCON since then.

Host nation record

Ivory Coast will host the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
Ivory Coast will host the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations

Ivory Coast have reason to be confident going into the 2023 tournament opener against Guinea-Bissau on Saturday, with host nations having a strong record at AFCON. 

In the 33 previous tournaments, a whopping 11 were won by the country hosting the competition.

And only three host nations have reached their final and lost.

History suggests there is a strong chance Ivory Coast will at least reach the semi-finals, with 24 hosting nations having made it to the last four.

Top scorers

Samuel Eto'o won the Africa Cup of Nations with Cameroon in 2000 and 2002
Samuel Eto'o won the Africa Cup of Nations with Cameroon in 2000 and 2002

AFCON's all-time record goalscorer is Cameroon legend Samuel Eto'o with 18 strikes from 29 appearances, while Ivory Coast icon Laurent Pokou is the second-top scorer with 14.

Of players that are still active and set to appear at this year's AFCON, Ghana forward Andre Ayew has 10 goals to his name while Cameroon striker Vincent Aboubakar has nine and Senegal talisman Sadio Mane has eight.

The most goals scored by a player at a single tournament was the nine from DR Congo's Ndaye Mulamba in 1974.

Where can I watch the Africa Cup of Nations?

Every game of the Africa Cup of Nations will be broadcast live on Sky Sports from January 13, up to and including the final on February 11.

The BBC will have live coverage of 10 games across BBC Three and iPlayer as well as providing match highlights on BBC Sport online and social media.


Africa Cup of NationsEgyptSenegalMoroccoNigeriaCameroonIvory CoastAlgeriaTunisiaMaliBurkina FasoGhanaDR CongoSouth AfricaCape VerdeGuineaZambiaEquatorial GuineaGambiaMauritaniaGuinea-BissauMozambiqueNamibiaAngolaTanzania
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