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Introduction: The story of the cup
The biennial African Nations Cup is the most eagerly awaited sports event on the continent. African football fans can look forward to 16 teams, many of them full of international stars, battling it out to take the prestigious title.

Past winners

You could be forgiven for thinking that the competition has always been on such a grand scale.

But when it started in 1957, only three teams took part - hosts Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt. Ethiopia got a bye to the final, where Egypt beat them 4-0.

Ghana/Nigeria 2000 is the most ambitious Cup of Nations yet.

Never before has a soccer tournament been co-hosted, and for a region where communications are not always reliable, sports administration skills will be stretched.

The tournament was never supposed to be in West Africa.

It was originally awarded to Zimbabwe, but they were forced to drop out in January 1999.

Ghana and Nigeria stepped in and only had 12 months to get things ready.

Nevertheless everything seems to have been put in place in time for the competition.

It has become a cliche to say it - but there are no longer any easy games in African soccer.

There are of course the continental giants who have a long pedigree in the competition, but countries like Senegal, Togo and Burkina Faso all have the potential to cause upsets.

Overall, from the opening clash right through to the final, there will be no easy matches to call.

This should make for gripping viewing for neutral football fans, and will have the partisan supporters quaking in their seats.

First tournament:
Sudan 1957

Most recent cup played:
Burkina Faso 1998

Current holders:

Cup of Nations 2000
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