The CAF Africa Cup of Nations kicks off on Saturday, and to mark the occasion, FIFA.com looks over some of the most interesting stats applying to this venerable tournament.
is the number of hosts for the 28th edition of the AFCON as Equatorial Guinea and Gabon co-organise the three week, 16-team event. The only previous time that the tournament was co-hosted was in 2000, when Ghana and Nigeria stepped in late to substitute for Zimbabwe, who had been originally designated to host.
debutants will be appearing at the finals, a significant number of newcomers for a continental finals. Botswana and Niger provided for major shocks in the qualifying competition, while Equatorial Guinea’s Nzalang National qualified automatically. The co-hosts will open the tournament on Saturday in Bata against Libya.
is the number of goals that Laurent Pokou scored in a single game for Côte d’Ivoire when they romped to a 6-1 win over Ethiopia at the 1970 finals, hosted in Sudan. It is a record now more than four decades old and one rarely threatened. The same game also holds the record for the biggest margin of victory at a Cup of Nations match.
players on rosters at the finals are among a set of brothers. Ivorians Yaya and Kolo Toure are well known, while Ghana’s Andre and Jordan Ayew are emerging as world class players - just like their famous father Abedi Pele. The other familial pairings are Burkina Faso youngsters Bertrand and Alain Traore and Zambia's Christopher and Felix Katongo.
is the amount of times that both Egypt and Ghana have appeared in the final match of a Cup of Nations tournament. The Pharaohs, who did not qualify for this tournament, have won seven of those eight, losing only in 1962 to hosts Ethiopia in Addis Ababa. Ghana have a 50 per cent success rate in the final and lost 1-0 to Egypt in the last edition in Angola two years ago.
is the biggest number of goals that have been scored in a single Cup of Nations match, when Egypt beat Nigeria 6-3 in the 1963 finals in Ghana. Hassan Shazli netted four times and Ibrahim Reda got the other two for the Pharaohs in Kumasi. Egypt were 4-0 ahead at half-time and the next five goals came in the final 12 minutes of the match.
is the age of the aforementioned Bertrand Traore of Burkina Faso. Other 16-year-old player at previous tournaments include the holder of the record as the youngest, Shiva Star Nzigou of Gabon (who scored on his debut in 2000 aged 16 years and three months), Mohamed Kallon of Sierra Leone and Cameroon full-back Pierre Wome.
referees will officiate at the 2012 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, along with 21 assistants. They all hail from African countries and include two referees and two assistant referees who were on the panel at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.
seconds is all it took Ayman Mansour of Egypt to score the quickest goal in the history of the tournament when Egypt played against Gabon on a bitterly cold night at the El Menzah Stadium in Tunis during the 1994 finals.
is the record number of games Rigobert Song played for Cameroon at eight different finals between 1996 and 2010. His record of eight different finals tournament appearances is shared with Ahmed Hassan, although the Egyptian was only a squad member in 1996 and did not play.
is the record number of matches that Egypt have played at the Cup of Nations. They have also won the most number of games at the tournament (51) and scored the most goals (151).
is the number of goals that were scored at the finals in Ghana in 2008 in a total of 32 games, which is the record tally for a tournament. At the last finals the total was 70, but because of Togo’s withdrawal, three games were cancelled.
is roughly the number of days before the next Cup of Nations finals in South Africa. This is the last time the usually biennial event will be played in an even-numbered year as from 2013 it moves to every odd year. South Africa took over from Libya as hosts, while Morocco will welcome the 2015 edition.