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African Cup 2006 in Egypt


The African Dream, Egypt 2006

by Seif Kamel

African Cup Football (Soccer)

After losing the dream of organizing the World Cup in 2010, all Egyptians aimed to organize the African Cup of nations during 2006 in the best way possible. This is to prove to the world that they are capable of hosting and organizing big international events.


In fact, Egypt has hosted this tournament three times before. The first time was the second tournament in 1959 but there were only two teams, Sudan and Ethiopia, besides the Egyptian. This is why the organizing of the tournament wasnt a big challenge as there were only three matches played. The second time Egypt hosted the cup was in 1974 and there were 8 teams participating. Egypt proved to host a very successful event although the Egyptian fans were upset that their team didnt win the cup. In 1986 Egypt hosted the tournament and was able at the final against Cameroon in the Cairo Stadium, which will host the opening match and the final of 2006 tournament.

After 20 years Egypt got the honor to organize the World Cup for the fourth time. From the moment the Confederation of the African Football (CAF) announced that Egypt will organize the coming African Cup in November 2002, the Egyptian government gathered all the recourses possible to have the best African Cup in history. This appeared from all the announcements of the Egyptian football federation. Ahmed Shobier, a member of the federation said "We must start from today, not tomorrow.

African Cup Action



The Egyptians started in the appropriate time to organize the third most important football event after the World Cup and Europe's Nations Cup. The tournament is expected to attract more than 4.5 billion viewers watching 80 international TV stations. The Egyptian government paid 105 million Egyptian pounds to renew the Cairo Stadium alone. This is besides more than 100 million to renew the other four stadiums.

Women fans at the Africa Cup

Starting on the 20th of January and ending on the 10th of February, with 16 teams playing 32 matches, Egypt will host the most powerful African tournament in history. The Egyptian government is now preparing to host millions of people from all over the world who are expected to visit Egypt to watch the tournament. Anas El Fiky, the Egyptian youth and sports minister, asserted that Egypt is also ready to host the 15 teams coming to play in Egypt. 480 of the best African players will come to compete on the land of the pharaohs next year.

African Cup crazy fans

Egypt 2006 is expected to be the most powerful in the African history because more than 10 teams are looking forward to winning the cup. Cameroon and Nigeria are always expected to win. Egypt considers this cup a consolation for the Egyptian fans after losing the chance to qualify for the World Cup. Tunisians want to prove that they can win the cup again after winning the last time in Tunisia. Senegal thinks its time for them to win the cup with stars like Duiof. Ghana has the won the cup four times and wants to win it again for the fifth time to be the first nation in Africa to do so. Ivory Coast has a very strong team now and surely they will not lose easily. Even infamous teams like Togo and Angola, who are very near to qualify to the next World Cup want to prove themselves. The coming 2006 African Cup will be the chance for all these teams to fight in order to win the African Cup.

Former Minister of Tourism Mamdouh El Be3ltagy is now Minister of Youth and Sports, heading up the efforts for the African Cup 2006


Another reason this cup became so important is that the African players wait for this event every two years in order to advance in their career. Africans who play in their domestic league look for a chance to play in Europe or in rich Arab countries. Even the players who are professionals in European counties look for a chance to play for a better team or in a better country. All the players in the African Cup perform their best in order to attract attention and find a chance for advancement.

The African Cup became important not only to Egyptians or Africans but also to all football fans around the world. This is because African football has advanced a lot in the last decade. African teams perform wonderfully in international football events. Cameroon and Senegal have reached the World Cup quarter finals and Nigeria and Cameroon have won the gold medal for football in the Olympics. This is besides the fact that many African football players have become worldwide superstars nowadays because of their skillful talent and power. The list of these players is huge but we can remember the Cameroons Eto who plays in Barcelona right now. I even named my favorite cat Autophees after him. Every country in Africa nowadays has a number of players who play as professionals in Europe. This is why many European hearts were attached to African players and competitions.

More crazy fans


Another very attractive aspect of Egypt 2006, other than the football itself and competitions, is the African cheerleading in matches. Africans are known to invent the best and craziest ways of cheerleading in the world. With coloring their faces and wearing strange outfits, they will surely fill the stadiums where their teams will be playing. Some teams take magicians with them to the matches as well to lead the fans and frighten the other teams. This tradition in African sports has become a major attraction in any tournament.

The tournament will surely attract many people from around the world to watch football, and as well it is a chance to visit Egypt with all its history and attractions. Hit two birds with one stone and come watch the best African football and visit the land of the Nile as well. It might be the trip of a lifetime.



Hosting Cities


Stadiums

Cairo stadium

Capacity: 80 thousand
Place: Heliopolis, Cairo
8 kilometers from Cairo International Airport

Cairo Stadium

Cairo Stadium is the largest Stadium in Africa and one of the biggest stadiums in the world. Although its official capacity is 80 thousand people, the stadium in some important matches took up to 130 thousand people. Since the day it was built in 1960, the stadium hosted many important matches that is still surviving in the memories of all Egyptians. The Cairo International Stadium hosted the final of the African Cup of Nations in 1986, when Egypt won against Cameroon in the final. It also hosted one of the most important matches in the history of Egyptian football. When Egypt won against Algeria in 1989 and qualified to the world cup of 1990. The stadium hosted some matches and the final of the U-17 world cup in 1997 as well. The stadium was closed more than a year ago to be renewed in order to be ready for the big event. It is going to be one of the best Stadiums in the world Anas Al Feiky, the Egyptian Minister of youth and sports asserted. It will be reopened in November with a match between Egypt and Argentina.


Military Academy Stadium

Capacity: 29 thousand
Place: Heliopolis, Cairo
2 kilometers from Cairo International Airport

This stadium was built mainly for the use of the military sports teams and the use of the students in the military academy. However, when the Cairo Stadium was closed for renewal, many clubs used it recently to play their matches. The stadium hosted a lot of matches and events for the two most popular clubs in Cairo and in all Egypt, Al Ahly and Zamalek. The stadium also under took some renewals to be ready for the Championship.

Port Said Stadium

Capacity: 29 thousand
Place: Port Said city
200 kilometers from Cairo International Airport

The stadium was built to serve the use of the clubs in the city of Port Said. El Masry is the main club in Port Said and the stadium hosted many matches for this team which has a huge popularity in this city. When Al Ahly or Zamalek comes to Port Said to play a match against El Masry, it is like a national celebration in the city and the Stadium. The stadium also hosted some official and friendly matches of the Egyptian national team. Port Said is well famous for the free zone it has and many traders import different products to sell it there. The city is one of the main places known for shopping in Egypt.

Alexandria Stadium

Capacity: 22 thousand
Place: Alexandria city
220 kilometers from Cairo International Airport

It is the oldest stadium in Egypt as it was built in the beginning of the 20 century. The stadium itself is a great piece of art and a demonstration of the Egyptian talent. It was built to serve the clubs in Alexandria the second biggest city in Egypt after Cairo the capital. Alexandria Stadium hosted some matches of the 1986 African cup in the first round. It is also the main host for the most popular club in Alexandria, Al Ithad.

Isamailia Stadium

Capacity: 22 thousand
Place: Isamailia city
100 kilometers from Cairo International Airport

Ismalia Stadium

The stadium was built to serve the most popular club in the eastern Egypt, Al Ismaily. The club is even called after Al Isamilia, one of the calmest and wonderful cities in Egypt. Although the city is quite and the people are very friendly, the scene changes tremendously in the stadium especially if Ismaily is playing. The fans of this club are crazy about the team as it is the only team that really competes with Ahly and Zamalek. The stadium hosts all of the matches of Ismaily and some international matches as well.

Tickets

The tickets are being sold right now in the postal offices spread all over Egypt. Hany Abo Reida, the head of the organizing committee has announced that one million tickets will be sold for the tournament matches. They are now sold with a 35% deduction in order to attract as many people as possible. These tickets sold now are collective tickets as you can watch all matches played in a particular stadium with one ticket. First class ticket for nine matches including the opening match and the final in Cairo Stadium will cost 156 US$. A second class ticket would cost about 35 US$ while a third class ticket would cost 16$. In the other stadiums there will be fixed price for 9 US$ for the collective tickets which will be sold until the middle of December, and then individual match tickets will be sold. Buying the tickets online will be available through a website released by the Egyptian ministry of communications after the championship draw in the 20 of October. Many of the Egyptian tour companies will reveal competitive offers for anybody who wants to watch the matches from outside Egypt.

The draw of the teams will take place on the 20th of October to know which teams will be in each group. We will display the draw with an analysis of each group in October.

The History of the African Cup of Nations


Egypt vs. Zimbabwe in the 2004 African Cup

The first match of the African cup was on the 10th of February 1957 in Khartoum Stadium in Sudan. The first match was between Egypt and Sudan and Egypt won 2-1 to meet Ethiopia in the final. The very first goal in the cup was scored by Raafat the Egyptian player after 21 minutes of the start of the game. However the idea of the cup goes back to 1956 when Abdel Aziz Abdallah Salem and Mohamed Latif from Egypt, Abdel Halim Shaddaad, Badawy Mohamed and Abdelhalim Mohamed from Sudan, and Fred Will from South Africa met in Avenida hotel in Portugal, to discuss the idea of construction of an African union for football and a championship in which all countries of the continent would compete. The first tournament was supposed to include four teams only: Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and South Africa which was eliminated because of the discrimination they practiced against blacks. The tournament didnt have any qualifying matches to advance and play in the finals.
In 1959 Egypt was able to win the second cup which was held in Egypt at that time. In 1962, the tournament was held in Ethiopia and witnessed the participation of new countries for the first time, such as Tunisia and Uganda. In the final of this tournament between Egypt and Ethiopia, it was the first time in the history of the cup that a match would reach an extra time before Ethiopia wins 4-2 at the end. In 1968 and in Ethiopia as well, was the first time 8 teams played in the tournament and this was the first time also to have qualifying matches.
The first television covered tournament was the one held in Sudan in 1970 and the home team won the cup for the first and only time until now. In 1974, the tournament was held in Egypt and it witnessed the first repeat of the final match because of the draw between Congo and Zaire 2-2. This is before Congo won the cup in the second match. The first time there was a league and then knock out system was in Ethiopia in 1976. In 1986, Egypt hosted the cup and was able to win it after more than 30 years.
In 1992, it was the first time to have 12 teams playing in the tournament which was held in Senegal. The number of participating teams was raised to16 in 1996 in South Africa. However only 15 teams participated in this tournament after Nigeria withdrawal for political reason although they were the cup holders. Egyptians were able to win their fourth cup in 1998. Mahmoud El Gohary, the Egyptian coach, was the first to win the cup as a player in 1959 and as a player in 1998. The first joint hosting was in 2000 by Ghana and Nigeria. However, Cameroon was able to win the cup that year. The last tournament in 2002 was held in Tunisia and the home town won the cup for the first time after they defeated Morocco 1-0 in the final. The coming tournament held in Egypt in the beginning of 2006 is considered to be the most powerful in the whole history of the cup. This is because many teams are looking forward to winning it.

Year

Host Country

First runner up

Winner

1957

Sudan

Ethiopia

Egypt

1959

Egypt

Sudan

Egypt

1962

Ethiopia

Egypt

Ethiopia

1963

Ghana

Sudan

Ghana

1965

Tunisia

Tunisia

Ghana

1968

Ethiopia

Ghana

Congo

1970

Sudan

Ghana

Sudan

1972

Cameroon

Mali

Congo

1974

Egypt

Zambia

Zaire

1976

Ethiopia

Group league

Guinea

1978

Ghana

Uganda

Ghana

1980

Nigeria

Algeria

Nigeria

1982

Libya

Libya

Ghana

1984

Ivory Coast

Nigeria

Cameroon

1986

Egypt

Cameroon

Egypt

1988

Morocco

Nigeria

Cameroon

1990

Algeria

Nigeria

Algeria

1992

Senegal

Ghana

Ivory Coast

1994

Tunisia

Zambia

Nigeria

1996

South Africa

Tunisia

South Africa

1998

Burkina Faso

South Africa

Egypt

2000

Ghana-Nigeria

Nigeria

Cameroon

2002

Mali

Senegal

Cameroon

2004

Tunisia

Morocco

Tunisia


The teams which won the cup the most is: Egypt, Ghana, and Cameroon- 4 times
The team which reached the final the most is: Ghana - 7 times.

Qualified teams

Angola
Angola

Foundation year 1979
Numbers of times participated: 2 times
Best position: First round
World ranking right now: Number 71
Africa ranking right now: Number 14
Best players: Fabrice Akwa

Cameroona
Cameroona

Foundation year 1959
Numbers of times participated: 13 times
Best position: Cup winner 4 times 1984 1988 2000 2002
World ranking right now: Number 28
Africa ranking right now: Number 2
Best players: Samuel Eto'o, Geremi
Cameroon is always one of the teams

Cameroon fans at the African Cup

Congo
Congo

Foundation year 1919
Numbers of times participated: 14 times
Best position: Cup winner 1972
World ranking right now: Number 79
Africa ranking right now: Number 16

Egypt
Egypt

Foundation year 1921
Numbers of times participated: 19 times
Best Position: Cup Winner 1957 1959 1986 1998
World ranking right now: Number 26
Africa ranking right now: Number 1
Best players: Mido, Emad Meteab, Hosam Ghaly

Egyptian Fans at the Africa Cup

Ghana
Ghana

Foundation year 1957
Numbers of times participated: 14 times
Best position: Cup winner 4 times 1963 1965 1978 1982
World ranking right now: Number 70
Africa ranking right now: Number 13
Best players: Sammy Kuffuor, Michael Essien

Guinea
Guinea

Foundation year 1960
Numbers of times participated: 7 time
Best Position: First runner up 1976
World ranking right now: Number 90
Africa ranking right now: Number 19
Best players: Taifur Diane

Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast

Foundation year 1960
Numbers of times participated: 15 times
Best position: Cup Winner 1992
World ranking right now: Number 44
Africa ranking right now: Number 8
Best players: DidierDrogba, Kolo Tour

Libya
Libya

Foundation year 1962
Numbers of times participated: 1 time
First runner up 1982
World ranking right now: Number 74
Africa ranking right now: Number 15
Best players: DidierTarek Al Tayeb, Ahmed El Masly

Morocco
Morocco

Foundation year 1955
Numbers of times participated: 11 time
Best Position: Cup Winner 1976
World ranking right now: Number 34
Africa ranking right now: Number 5
Best players: Nourdin Bokhari, Nourdin Naibet

Nigeria
Nigeria

Foundation year 1945
Numbers of times participated: 13 times
Best Position: Cup Winner 1980 1994
World ranking right now: Number 30
Africa ranking right now: Number 3
Best players: Jay Jay Okocha, Kanu

Senegal
Senegal

Foundation year 1960
Numbers of times participated: 9 times
Best position: first runner up 2002
World ranking right now: Number 40
Africa ranking right now: Number 7
Best players: elhadj diouf, Titi Camara

South Africa
South Africa

Foundation year 1991
Numbers of times participated: 5 times
Best position: Cup Winner 1996
World ranking right now: Number 38
Africa ranking right now: Number 6
Best players: Shaun Bartlett, Benedict McCarthy

Togo
Togo

Foundation year 1960
Numbers of times participated: 5 times
Best position: First round
World ranking right now: Number 66
Africa ranking right now: Number 12
Best players: Adebayor Sheyi

Tunisia
Tunisia

Foundation year 1956
Numbers of times participated: 11 time
Best Position: Cup Winner 2004
World ranking right now: Number 31
Africa ranking right now: Number 4
Best players: Hatem Tarabulsy, Clayton

Tunisia Fans

Zambia
Zambia

Foundation year 1929
Numbers of times participated: 11 times
Best position: first runner up 1974 1994
World ranking right now: Number 56
Africa ranking right now: Number 10
Best players: Mbesuma Collins

Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe

Foundation year 1965
Numbers of times participated: 1 time
Best position: First round
World ranking right now: Number 51
Africa ranking right now: Number 9
Best players: Kaondera Shingayi

Africa Super Stars

Samuel Eto'o

Samuel Eto'o

Current club: Barcelona
Previous club: Real Majorque
Birth date: March 10 1981
Height: 180cm
Weight: 75Kg
Nationality: Cameroon
Position: Forward

Geremi

Current club: Chelsea
Previous clubs: Real Madrid
Date of Birth: 20 Dec 1978
Height: 5' 9"
Nationality: Cameroon
Position: right mid field

Mido

Mido

Current club: Tottenham Hotspur
Previous clubs: Roma
Date of Birth: 23/ 02/ 1983
Height: 6' 2"
Nationality: Egypt
Position: Forward

DidierDrogba

Current club: Chelsea
Previous clubs: Marseille
Date of Birth: 11 Mar 1978
Height: 5'11"
Nationality: Ivory Coast
Position: Forward

Nourdin Bokhari

Nourdin Bokhari


Current club: AFC Ajax
Previous clubs: NEC Breda
Date of Birth: 30 June 1980
Height: 184
Weight: 78 kg
Nationality: Morocco
Position: Forward

Jay Jay Okocha

Current club: Bolton
Previous clubs: Paris St Germain
Date of Birth: August 14 1973
Height: 170
Weight: 70kg
Nationality: Nigeria
Position: Forward

Elhadj Diouf

Elhadj Diouf

Current club: Liverpool
Previous clubs: Lens
Date of Birth: Jan 15 1981
Height: 182
Weight: 74 kg
Nationality: Senegal
Position: Forward

Last Updated: June 9th, 2011

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