AFCON: 8 Host countries that went on to win Africa’s biggest prize at home


With Ivory Coast sealing a place in the semifinals of the 2023 AFCON, they could join an illustrious group of countries that have hosted and won the tournament

The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is a prestigious tournament that showcases the best of African football. Over the years, several countries have had the honor of hosting the tournament and have gone on to win it on their home soil, creating unforgettable moments in the history of African football. 

Here, we explore the countries that have achieved the remarkable feat of winning the AFCON while hosting it, highlighting their journey to victory and the impact of these triumphs on their football legacy.

Algeria’s Triumph as Hosts

Algeria, a dominant force in African football, has had the privilege of hosting the AFCON tournament once, during which they claimed their first prestigious title by narrowly defeating Nigeria 1-0 in the final. This victory marked Algeria’s inaugural win, with their subsequent triumph occurring in 2019.

Ethiopia’s Historic Victory

As one of the tournament’s longest-standing participants, Ethiopia hosted the AFCON thrice—in 1962, 1968, and 1976. Their memorable win came in 1962, the first time they hosted, overcoming the United Arab Republic 4-2 in a thrilling final to seize their maiden title.

South Africa’s Mixed Fortunes

South Africa has been the AFCON host three times—in 1996, 2013, and 2022. Despite not securing the title in the latter two editions, their 1996 hosting saw them triumph over Tunisia 2-0 in the final, marking their first AFCON win.

Nigeria’s Success and Disappointment

Nigeria, a familiar name in the competition, has hosted twice—in 1980 and 2000. Their hosting debut in 1980 saw them emerge victorious, defeating Algeria 3-0 in the final to clinch their first title. However, their second hosting stint in 2000 ended in disappointment, losing to Cameroon in the final on penalties.

Tunisia’s Rise to Prominence

Tunisia, steadily ascending in African football, has hosted the tournament three times—in 1965, 1994, and 2004. Their solitary victory as hosts came in 2004 when they bested Morocco 2-1 in the final to secure the championship.

Sudan’s Singular Glory

Sudan has had the honor of hosting the AFCON twice, in 1957 and 1970, winning the title once as hosts by defeating Ghana 1-0 in the 1970 final. This victory remains their only title, as they have since struggled to replicate such success.

Ghana’s Celebrated Victories

Ghana, a powerhouse in African football, has hosted the AFCON four times—in 1963, 1978, 2000, and 2008. While they were unsuccessful in two of these editions, they claimed the championship in their first hosting year by defeating Sudan in the final and again in 1978, overcoming Uganda 2-0 in the final.

Egypt’s Dominant Record

Egypt, the most triumphant team in AFCON history with seven titles, has hosted the tournament five times, winning three of these editions. Their initial victory as hosts came in 1959 with a win over Sudan, followed by triumphs in 1986 and 2006, the latter against Ivory Coast in a penalty shootout after a goalless draw.



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