2013 AFCON: West African teams make history

Nigeria will play Mali in the first semifinal pairing on Wednesday

West Africa has made history by becoming the first sub-region since the Africa Cup of Nations football tournament started in 1957 to have only teams from the sub-region in the semi-finals.

PANA reported on Monday that all the four semi-finalists at the ongoing 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa are from West Africa: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Nigeria.

The sub-region has produced three of the four semi-finalists at past competitions six times: in 1965 (Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal) and 1992 (Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria).

In 1994 (Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Mali); 2002 (Senegal, Nigeria and Mali); 2006 (Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Senegal) and in 2012 (Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Ghana).

However, North African teams have won the most titles at the continental football extravaganza (10), followed by West Africa and Central Africa (7 each).
East Africa and Southern Africa have won only two titles each.

With all the semi-finalists at the ongoing competition coming from West Africa, it is certain that the tournament trophy will return to the sub-region for the first time since 1994, when Nigeria beat Zambia 2-1 in Tunisia to win.

The semi-final stage was introduced after the first two editions of the tournament in 1957 and 1959.




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