Countdown to Afcon 2019 in Egypt

The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations is to be staged in six stadiums in Egypt, namely Cairo International Stadium,   30 June Stadium, Al Salam Stadium all in Cairo. Others are Alexandria Stadium in Alexandria, Suez Stadium in Suez and Ismailia Stadium in Ismailia.

The biennial tournament holds from June 21 to July 19, 2019 with 24 countries from across Africa participating for the first time since the first edition in Sudan in 1957. The countries are hosts Egypt, defending Champions Cameroon, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Algeria, Guinea, Mali, DR Congo, Ghana, Tunisia and Senegal. Others are Uganda, South Africa, Guinea-Bissau, Zimbabwe, Angola, Burundi, Mauritania, Namibia, Benin, Kenya, Madagascar, and Tanzania.

The first edition of the Africa Cup of Nations took place in Sudan from February 10 to 15, 1957 with three participating teams namely, Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia. South Africa were due to play Ethiopia in the Semi final of the tournament, but were disqualified due to apartheid. Ethiopia therefore had a bye to the final, while in the other Semi final at Municipal Stadium in Khartoum; the Egyptians beat the host nation 2-1.

In the final Egypt beat Ethiopia 4-0, with all four goals scored by El-Diba, who finished the tournament as top scorer with five goals. Only two games were played in this first edition. Raafat Ateya of Egypt was the first goal scorer of the tournament in the opening match against Sudan with 30,000 attendants while the centre referee was Gebeyehu Doube from Ethiopia. The final game between Ethiopia and Egypt was officiated by referee Mohammed Youssef from Sudan.

In all, Egypt became the first title holders, Ethiopia are runners-up, while Sudan came third. A total of two matches were played in one venue, Municipal Stadium while the tournament produced seven goals out of which El-Diba (Egypt) scored 5; Rafaat (Egypt) scored 1 while Al-Bashir (Sudan) had one goal to his credit.


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