Africa Cup of Nations: victory Egypt
First broadcast date
Football again with the final of the African Cup of Nations 2008 in Ghana and Egypt victory 1-0 against Cameroon ...
Account of the meeting by Claude Marcotte.
France 2 - International Exchanges
Sport and games
Credits / Cast
- Marcotte Claude - Journalist
ANC: Egypt's victory
In 2008, Egypt won its sixth African Nations Cup (ANC), the most important football competition on the African continent. Since their first official match in 1920 against Italy and since the Egyptian Federation joined FIFA in 1923, the "Pharaohs" have become one of Africa's major teams. They were the first African team to take part in the World Cup, in 1934 in Italy. Although the Egyptians have only qualified for the World Cup one other time (again in Italy in 1990) they have qualified for 21 of the 26 African Nations' Cups since it was created in 1957.
Indeed it was an Egyptian, Abedelaziz Abadallah Salem, with a Sudanese Abdel Halim Mohamed, who set up the Confederation of African Football (CAF) within FIFA, wanting "to organise a regular African championship". Against a background of independence movements, from the beginning the bi-annual event was a way of affirming nation-hood and hope in African unity. It was also a way of getting African soccer taken seriously internationally, at the same time underlining the globalisation which the sport has known in the 20th century. The ANC is also a sounding box for the political issues which structure, sometime chaotically, the history of contemporary Africa.
The ANC trophy draws a geopolitical map of African football which is mainly sub-Saharan. Egypt holds the record of victories (1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2008 and 2010) partly because it has been playing the game longer, having learnt it when Egypt was a British protectorate, and partly by playing in international competitions since the 1930's. On the other hand, with the current participation of 34 countries in the final phase, bringing together 8 then 16 teams in 1996, and with the AFC which in 2008 had 53 federations affiliated to it, the competition gives an ideas of African football's diversity.
The 2008 competition was organised in Ghana. Meeting in Cairo in 2004, the AFC chose this country which had won the trophy three times (1963, 1965 and 1982) over Libya, which was also a candidate. It was the fourth time Ghana had hosted the competition (1963, 1978 and 2000, jointly with Nigeria). Like the other states before it, Ghana shouldered the biggest part of the financial burden, particularly the infrastructure, particularly important since the competiton is seen by nearly 5 billion viewers across the world, and Ghana wants to project a good image of itself. All four stadiums were renovated.
Egypt had already confronted Cameroon in the first round, beating them 4 goals to 2. First in a group consisting of Zambia and the Sudan, Egypt eliminated the Ivory Coast in the semi-finals while Cameroon beat the hosts Ghana. During the final at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra the meeting seemed well balanced: Cameroon had won the Cup four times (1984, 1988, 2000, 2002) and had in its team several well-known players like Samuel Eto'o (best striker of the competition), who played in the best European teams. The Egyptians had less international media exposure, but they won the match. Hosny Abd Rabo, a player from the Ismaily Sporting Club, having played for two years with Strasbourg, was chosen as man of the tournament.
Paul Darby, Africa, football and FIFA. Politics, colonialism and resistance, Londres, Cass, 2002, 256 p.
Paul Dietschy, David-Claude Kemo-Keimbou, Le football et l’Afrique, Paris, EPA, 2008, 383 p.
Faouzi Mahjoub, Le football africain : trente ans de Coupe d’Afrique des nations, Paris, Jeune Afrique, 1988.