Monday, March 2, 2009

What is the African Nations Championship?

What is the African Nations Championship?

Honestly, I have no clue. I just heard about this championship for the first time today while browsing the Internet.

So let's get up to date.

The Confederation of African Football's web site is virtually devoid of information when it comes to this tournament.

Here's a BBC article from 2007 that tells us more.

It will be played between national teams, but only players who are based in their home country's domestic league will be eligible.

Stars playing in Europe and even those who have moved to other African leagues will not be allowed to take part.

The tournament will be held every two years.

"We strive to give to the local African players the possibility to showcase their talents and abilities, but also to bring to a higher level the national championships in Africa, and to boost their importance," said Caf president Issa Hayatou

Qualifying matches will take place next year, and eight teams will play at the finals in 2009.

The host country will be chosen from the qualifying nations.

Ok, makes more sense.

Actually, this is a brilliant concept, giving local lads the time to shine and get some much needed exposure.

This year's tournament is being held in the Ivory Coast. Let's get up to date with what's going on there, via our friends from the BBC once again.
Ghana beat DR Congo 3-0 in Group B of the African Nations Championship on Sunday, a result that puts both teams through to the semi-finals.

Zimbabwe remained unbeaten after a 0-0 draw with Libya in the other game in Abidjan, but the point was not enough for the Warriors.

Charles Taylor put Ghana ahead in Bouake in first-half stoppage time with a long-range free-kick, and Yaw Antwi shot home the second from inside the box in the 68th minute.

Captain Edmund Owusu Ansah connected with a Rahim Ayew cross on 79 minutes to seal what was Ghana's first victory of the tournament.

Meanwhile, neither goalkeeper had too much to do in the draw between Zimbabwe and Libya until there was a flurry of late chances.

Ghana finished top of the group with five points, DR Congo had four, Zimbabwe three and Libya two.

Zambia will play DR Congo and Ghana face Senegal in Wednesday's semi-finals.
I really wish I could watch these matches here in New York. Sounds like a fun tournament!


Tom Legg said...

Good summary buddy, it's a surprisingly brilliant concept from the usually short sighted African federation!

gary said...

it IS a fun tournament, man. I'm in GHANA, a producer of 'sports world'. Hey am on check me out let's review each other yeah? If you need more info just buzz me. out!