By Muambo Edward
Football Writer, kick442.com-Cameroon
The sixth edition of the African Nations Championship [CHAN] will kickoff on the 4th of April 2020 in Cameroon, 16 of the continent’s best will converge in the land of the Indomitable Lions to try and dethrone Morocco.
The CHAN is a tournament organized by the Confederation of African Football [CAF] after every two years. It was first announced in September 2007 and the first edition was held in Côte d’Ivoire in 2009.
The CHAN is a competition reserved for players plying their trade in their domestic championships on the African continent in the ongoing season.
Expatriate players regardless of where the play, even in Africa, are not eligible to take part in the tournament.
The competition began with eight teams and was expanded to sixteen teams in the second edition, held in Sudan in 2011.
The CHAN was created in response to the massive exodus of African players, who craved media attention and an opportunity to showcase their abilities on a big stage. The aim was to strengthen domestic competitions, as some of the best home players will be retained with the hope of featuring in the tournament. Also players who were struggling in smaller championships abroad, could return home with the hope of nailing a place in the CHAN and revive their careers.
The matches of the CHAN gained FIFA recognition and consideration in the FIFA monthly rankings from 2014 onwards.
Côte d’Ivoire, Sudan, South Africa, Rwanda and Morocco have hosted the first five editions of the tournament.
The most successful country in the tournament is the DR Congo with two trophies [2009 and 2016]. The other three winners are; Libya , Tunisia  and Morocco .
In 2009, the DR Congo defeated Ghana in the final 2-0. Tunisia claimed the second trophy with a 3-0 win over Angola in the final.
The competition was decided for the first time through post match penalties in 2014 in South Africa, with Libya beating Ghana 4-3 after a virgin draw in regular play time and extra time. The DR Congo made Mali look ordinary in the final in 2016 in Rwanda with a 3-0 bashing.
Morocco made light work of Nigeria with a 4-0 demolition on home soil in the final of the 2018 edition.
In 2009, Zambia’s Given Singuluma was the competition’s top scorer with 5 goals and the DR Congo’s Tresor Mputu was the best player. A total of 30 goals were scored in 16 games.
In 2011 the tournament was enlarged to 16 teams and five players managed to score 3 goals; El Arbi Hillel Soudani (Algeria), Myron Shongwe (South Africa), Mudathir El Tahir (Sudan), Zouheir Dhaouadi (Tunisia) and Salema Gasdaoui (Tunisia).
The best player of the tournament was Tunisia’s Zouheir Dhaouadi.
59 goals were scored in 32 games.
South Africa’s Bernard Parker was the top scorer in 2014 with four goals. Nigeria’s Ejike Uzoenyi was the best player of the tournament.
73 goals were scored in 32 games.
The DR Congo’s Elia Meschak, Nigeria’s Chisom Chikatara and Tunisia’s Ahmed Akaichi all bagged four goals each to top the goal scorers’ chart in 2016.
Meschak was the tournament’s best player.
A total of 80 goals were scored in 32 games.
Morocco’s Ayoub El Kaabi blew away the goal scoring records with a total of 9 goals in 2018. He was also the tournament’s best player. 58 goals were scored in the 32 games played.
Since the beginning of the tournament in 2009, 30 teams have featured in it, with Togo poised to make it 31 when they make their debut in Cameroon.
A total of 144 games have been played in the CHAN with a total of 300 goals scored. 2016 with 80 goals witnessed the most goals scored while 2009 with 30 goals recorded had the least number of goals, but only 30 games where played. 2018 with 58 goals had the lowest number of goals scored in a 16 teams tournament.
The North African states have outrightly dominated the tournament with three wins [Tunisia, Libya and Morocco]. The other two titles have been won by a Central African state [DR Congo]. The West African, East African and Southern African countries are yet to lift the trophy.
THE SIXTEEN TEAMS FOR THE 2020 TOURNAMENT
Burkina Faso 🇧🇫
Group A is made up of host country Cameroon, who are making their fourth appearance in the tournament and have never gone beyond the quarterfinals, 2016 runners-up Mali, Burkina Faso who will be making their third appearance in the tournament and Zimbabwe who finished fourth in 2014 and will be participating for a fourth time in the tournament.
Libya are the favorites of Group B. The 2009 winners finished fourth in 2018 and are making their fourth appearance in the tournament.
This group is considered the group of death with a mouth watering Congolese derby lined up.
Two time winners DR Congo will be participating in the tournament for a fifth time.
Their less illustrious neigbours, Congo Brazzaville are in their third participation with their best performance being a quarterfinals finish in 2018.
2011 quarter-finalists Niger complete the group. They will be in their third participation.
2018 winners Morocco will be in their fourth participation in Cameroon. They are the overwhelming favorites of the group C.
Rwanda reached the quarterfinals of the tournament in 2016, they will be participating for a fourth time.
Uganda have been an ever present in the tournament since missing out of the first edition in 2009. They have never gone past the group stage.
The group is completed by Togo who will be making their debut in Cameroon.
Zambia finished third in 2009 and have been quarter-finalists in the other two editions they have participated in. They will be taking part in their fourth tournament in Cameroon.
Guinea finished 4th in 2014 and will be making their third appearance in the tournament in Cameroon.
Namibia only previously qualified in 2018 but managed to reach the quarterfinals.
The only other time Tanzania took part in the CHAN was during the maiden edition in 2009 and they were eliminated at the group stage.
The CHAN 2020 was initially scheduled to take place in Ethiopia, but die organizational lapses and a lack of will from the state to back the project, CAF attributed the tournament to Cameroon as part of their preparations for the hosting of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
Four stadia across three cities in three regions of the country have been earmarked to host the tournament.
Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium
Group to be hosted: Group A
Opened in 1972 and renovated in 2016
Stade Omnisport de Douala
Location: Japoma, Douala
Group to be hosted: Group B
Opened on November 30, 2019
Stade de la Reunification
Location: Bepanda, Douala
Group to be hosted: Group C
Constructed in 1972
Limbe Municipal Stadium
Group to be hosted: Group D
Opened in 2016.
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