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Tuesday, 25 September, 2001, 10:33 GMT 11:33 UK
Nations Cup trophy revealed
Cameroon lift the Nations Cup trophy last year, which they were allowed to keep
Cameroon lift the Nations Cup trophy last year, which they were allowed to keep
Here it is - the first exclusive look at the new African Nations Cup trophy, which will be handed over for the first time to the winners of the 2002 finals in Mali in February.

The gold-plated trophy, designed and made in Italy by the same company who have produced the various trophies for Fifa world championships, replaces the old African Unity Cup, won outright by Cameroon last year.

Cameroon's third success in the Nations Cup since 1984 ensured they were the first country to take the trophy three times and therefore earn the right to keep it.

Runners-up Nigeria, who had previously won in 1980 and 1994, would have also kept it had they been able to overcome Cameroon in the dramatic penalty shoot-out in the final in Lagos last February.

The old African Unity Cup was a gift to the Confederation of African Football from the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa and donated ahead of the 1980 finals, hosted by Nigeria.

Ghana take first

First trophy for the Nations Cup competition was the Abdelaziz Abdallah Salem Trophy, named after the Egyptian official who was the first elected president of Caf in 1957.

The new trophy
That trophy was won outright by Ghana in Libya in 1978, as they became the first country to win three Nations Cup titles.

The new trophy bears no resemblance to its two predecessors.

The first trophy was an old-fashioned and ornate piece of silverware with a remarkable resemblance to the English League Cup.

And the second was emblazoned with the Olympic rings and with space-age handles and a long stem.

It has been proudly lifted over the last two decades by legendary players such as Rabah Madjer (Algeria), Roger Milla (Cameroon), Stephen Keshi (Nigeria), Neil Tovey (South Africa), Hossam Hassan (Egypt) and most recently Rigobert Song, the captain of the 2000 Indomitable Lions.

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