African Nations Championship

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African Nations Championship
Organising bodyCAF
Founded2009; 15 years ago (2009)
Number of teams18
Current champions Senegal (1st title)
Most successful team(s) DR Congo
(2 titles each)
Television broadcasters
WebsiteOfficial website
2024 African Nations Championship

The African Nations Championship, (in French Championnant d'Afrique des Nations) known for sponsorship purposes as the TotalEnergies African Nations Championship and commonly abbreviated as CHAN,[a] is a biennial African association football tournament organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) since 2009 and first announced on 11 September 2007.[1] The participating nations must consist of players playing in their national league competitions.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo for short) and Morocco are the most successful teams in this tournament with two titles each, followed by Tunisia, Libya and incumbent champions Senegal with one each.[2] The tournament began life in 2009 with 8 teams, which was doubled for the 2nd edition up until the 6th[3][4] and is currently contested by 18 teams since the 2022 edition.[5][6][7]

Since the 2014 edition, matches of every edition of this tournament from qualification to the final will be computed to calculate the forthcoming FIFA World Rankings following its conclusion, which CAF exclaimed at the time as "an important step for the competition's development".[8] At the time, FIFA considers the tournament "friendly" since it is restricted to players from local leagues to participate. The tournament is held biennially and alternates with the Africa Cup of Nations.[9]



The conception of this tournament came on 11 September 2007 during a CAF Executive Committee in Johannesburg, South Africa, with the aim being to give homegrown players opportunities to represent their nations and promote their home leagues globally.[10] The tournament was approved and confirmed in January 2008 before that year's Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana. Following its conclusion of that tournament in February, CAF voted unanimously for Ivory Coast against firm-favorite countries like Sudan and Egypt to host the inaugural edition, after which the tournament dates and schedules were confirmed.

Inauguration and commencement[edit]

Qualification for the inaugural edition began on 29 March and concluded on 14 December 2008, which ended with seven teams joining Ivory Coast at the inaugural edition. The inaugural tournament match kicked off between Zambia and Ivory Coast on 22 February 2009 at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan with Zambian Given Singuluma scoring the tournament's first goal. In Group A, Zambia and Senegal qualified at the expense of Tanzania and Ivory Coast. In Group B, Ghana and DR Congo qualified for the knockout stages with Zimbabwe and Libya eliminated.

In the semi-finals, Senegal defeated Ghana on penalties whiles DR Congo beat Zambia to advance to the final, but Zambia finished their inaugural CHAN campaign on a high with bronze medals claimed in the third-place match over Senegal. DR Congo defeated Ghana 2–0 in the final at the same stadium that opened the tournament to became the inaugural champions, thus in the process ending a 35-year wait for an international trophy win of any sort.[11]

Tournament expansion[edit]

The rapid interest of African countries in the tournament led to an increase in team participation from 8 to 16 in its second edition hosted by Sudan amid a struggle for the independence for the southern part of the country in 2011.[12] It was hosted in four cities; Omdurman, Khartoum, Wad Madani and Port Sudan. Qualification for that edition began on 11 January and concluded on 6 June 2010, with 11 teams making their tournament debuts and 5 teams, including Ghana and Libya, returned for the second edition.[13]

The 2011 edition was seen by the media as "very irregular", as there was a dominant team in each group but all the second teams were decided in the third and final group stage round. Cameroon and South Africa won all their group stage matches, but ended up losing to Angola and Algeria respectively in the quarter-finals. Meanwhile, Sudan beat Niger on penalties and Tunisia beat then-defending champions DR Congo.

In the semi-finals on 22 February 2011, Tunisia v Algeria and Sudan v Angola finished 1–1 after the regulation 120 minutes, with Tunisia beating Algeria 3–5 on penalties and Angola winning 4–2 against Sudan also on penalties. The second tournament editions hosts Sudan thus finished their campaign off on a high with third place and bronze medals after beating Algeria 1–0. Tunisia and Angola got a rematch in the final after a group stage 1–1 drawn match, with the former claiming the title on its debut with a 3–0 win over Angola.

FIFA recognition[edit]

CAF changed the frequency of the Africa Cup of Nations following the 2010 edition to odd-numbered years so as not to clash with the FIFA World Cup, which had a consequential knock-on effect on CHAN which was to and to date be held biennially in even-numbered years. CAF also named Libya as hosts of the 2013 AFCON and the 2014 CHAN, but had both hosting rights stripped at the onset of the first Libyan civil war. Several countries offered themselves as replacement hosts, including Egypt and South Africa, with the latter chosen as the hosts, citing the credential of its impressive infrastructural hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Cape Town Stadium, one of the 2010 FIFA World Cup stadiums, home of the 2014 final.

The third edition ran from 11 January to 1 February 2014 and was labeled by the media as "fantastic", as they claimed the host nation's stadiums which hosted World Cup matches 4 years earlier "gave a different touch to the tournament". Like the second edition, the quarter-finalists were decided in the third and final round, with decisive goals in added-on time in each group and the knockout stages except the final were decided by the odd goal or on penalties. In the match for third place, Nigeria, who had several players on their team who won the final of the previous year's AFCON and were preparing for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, won the bronze medal, after beating Zimbabwe 1–0.

The final was held in Cape Town between Ghana and then-surprise package Libya. The match, like that entire edition, was very tight and ended 0–0 and the champions were determined by penalties. After 6 penalties per side, Libya won their inaugural CHAN title and their first continental title in its history, which at the time was more than impressive given than they won a single match in the group stage against Ethiopia and went undefeated through consecutive draws and penalty shoot-out wins.

Congolese and Moroccan domination[edit]

The Leopards welcomed at N'djili Airport after winning the 2016 edition.
Cameroon vs DR Congo at the quarter-finals of the 2020 edition.

The 4th edition of the tournament was held from 16 January to 7 February 2016 in Rwanda[14] and DR Congo claimed their second title defeating Mali, in the final for the first time and thus representing their best tournament performance, 3–0 in the final.

The 5th edition in 2018 was originally scheduled to be hosted in Kenya, but due to several delays in preparation and organization, CAF stripped the country of the hosting rights[15] and opened a new election process.[16] On 14 October 2017, CAF announced Morocco as the new host of the 2018 edition, which was played between 13 January to 4 February.[17] One of the main reasons why Morocco applied to be an organizer is because it was looking to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, so the tournament represented one of the country's last chances to show itself as a strong candidate. The final pitted hosts Morocco and Nigeria; both teams were undefeated throughout that edition of the tournament and only had a draw to their credit in their respective group stages. Morocco won the match 4–0,[18] winning the title for the first time and becoming the first host nation to win the tournament.[19]

Morocco successfully defended their title in the 2020 edition, postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa and its impact, by defeating Mali 2–0 in the final on 7 February 2021, thus becoming the first and so far only nation to win back-to-back titles.[20][21] On 4 February 2023, Senegal defeated Algeria in the penalty shootout to become the first West African nation to win the title, which followed on from their win in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.[22]


On 21 July 2016, French energy and petroleum giant TotalEnergies secured an 8-year sponsorship package from CAF to sponsor its competitions.[23][24]



For the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2009, teams for the group stage were allocated as follows:

  • One each for North, West A, West B, Central, and Central East
  • Two for the southern region
  • One for the host country of the final tournament

From the second edition in 2011 until the 6th edition in 2021 (originally 2020), the expansion of national team participation to 16 teams led to the change in zonal team allocations, including the host country, were as follows:

  • Northern Region: Two teams, out of 5, qualified through a single elimination round.
  • Western Region A: Two teams, out of 6, qualified through two playoffs.
  • Western Region B: Three teams, out of 7, qualified through two playoffs.
  • Central Region: Three teams, out of 5, qualified through two playoffs.
  • Central Eastern Region: Three teams, out of 8, qualified through two playoffs.
  • Southern Region: Two teams, out of 9, qualified through three playoffs.

Group phase[edit]

Until 2021, the group stage consisting of 16 teams were divided into four groups of four teams each. Within each group they face each other once, through the system of all against all. Depending on the result of each match, three points are awarded to the winner, one point to each team in case of a tie, and none to the loser.

The two best-ranked teams from each group advance to the next round. If at the conclusion of the group matches, two teams finish level on points, the following tie-breaking criteria apply:

  1. The highest number of points obtained taking into account all the group matches.
  2. The highest goal difference considering all group matches.
  3. The highest number of goals scored in favour taking into account all group matches.

If two or more teams are tied based on the above guidelines, their positions will be determined by the following criteria, in order of preference:

  1. The highest number of points obtained in the matches between the teams in question.
  2. The goal difference taking into account the matches between the teams in question.
  3. The highest number of goals scored by each team in the matches played between the teams in question.

If after applying the above criteria two teams are still tied, the above three criteria are reapplied to the match played between the two teams in question to determine their final standings. If this procedure does not lead to a tiebreaker, the following tiebreaker criteria apply:

  • Goal difference in all group matches.
  • Greater number of goals scored in all group matches.
  • Draw of the organizing committee of the championship.

The second round includes all phases from the round of 16 to the final. The two semi-finalists qualify through the direct elimination system. The losing teams of the semifinals play a match for third and fourth place, while the winners play the final match, where the winner gets the title.

If a game is tied after 90 minutes of play, extra time is played in two halves of 15 minutes each, even to the extent of a penalty shoot-out if the result is still tied after this extra time.


Ed. Year Hosts Champions Score Runners-up Third place Score Fourth place No. of teams
1 2009  Ivory Coast
DR Congo

2 2011  Sudan

3 2014  South Africa
(4–3 p)


4 2016  Rwanda
DR Congo

Ivory Coast
5 2018  Morocco

(4–2 p)

6 2020  Cameroon

7 2022  Algeria
(5–4 p)


8 2024  Kenya


Years shown in bold indicate that the country also hosted an edition of the tournament.

Team Champions Runners-up Third place Fourth place Total
 DR Congo 2 (2009, 2016) 2
 Morocco 2 (2018, 2020) 2
 Libya 1 (2014) 1 (2018) 2
 Senegal 1 (2022) 1 (2009) 2
 Tunisia 1 (2011) 1
 Ghana 2 (2009, 2014) 2
 Mali 2 (2016, 2020) 2
 Nigeria 1 (2018) 1 (2014) 2
 Algeria - 1 (2022) 1 (2011) 2
 Angola 1 (2011) 1
 Sudan 2 (2011, 2018) 2
 Guinea 1 (2020) 1 (2016) 2
 Zambia 1 (2009) 1
 Ivory Coast 1 (2016) 1
 Madagascar 1 (2022) 1
 Zimbabwe 1 (2014) 1
 Cameroon 1 (2020) 1
 Niger 1 (2022) 1

Participating nations[edit]

Countries coloured according to their highest ever tournament achievement.
  Third place
  Fourth place
  Group stage
Team Ivory Coast
South Africa
 Algeria 4th × × 2nd 2
 Angola 2nd GS QF GS 4
 Burkina Faso GS GS GS 3
 Burundi GS 1
 Cameroon QF QF GS 4th GS 5
 Congo × GS QF QF GS 4
 DR Congo 1st QF QF 1st QF GS 6
 Equatorial Guinea × × GS 1
 Ethiopia × × GS GS GS 3
 Gabon GS QF GS × 3
 Ghana 2nd GS 2nd QF 4
 Guinea 4th GS 3rd 3
 Ivory Coast GS GS 3rd GS QF 5
 Kenya Q 1
 Libya GS 1st 4th GS GS 5
 Madagascar 3rd 1
 Mali GS QF 2nd 2nd GS 5
 Mauritania × GS GS QF 3
 Morocco QF GS 1st 1st × 4
 Mozambique GS QF 2
 Namibia QF GS × 2
 Niger QF GS GS 4th 4
 Nigeria 3rd GS 2nd 3
 Rwanda GS QF GS QF 4
 Senegal 4th GS 1st 3
 South Africa QF GS 2
 Sudan 3rd 3rd GS 3
 Tanzania GS GS Q 2
 Togo GS 1
 Tunisia 1st QF × •• × 2
 Uganda GS GS GS GS GS GS Q 6
 Zambia 3rd QF QF QF 4
 Zimbabwe GS GS 4th GS GS × 5
Total 8 16 16 16 16 16 17 18

Records and statistics[edit]

General statistics by tournament[edit]

Ayoub El Kaabi has the record for the highest goalscorer in a single edition of the tournament.
Year Hosts Champions (titles) Winning coach Top scorer(s) (goals) Most valuable player
2009  Ivory Coast  DR Congo (1) Democratic Republic of the Congo Mutumbile Santos Zambia Given Singuluma (5) Democratic Republic of the Congo Trésor Mputu
2011  Sudan  Tunisia (1) Tunisia Sami Trabelsi Tunisia Zouheir Dhaouadi
2014  South Africa  Libya (1) Spain Javier Clemente South Africa Bernard Parker (4) Nigeria Ejike Uzoenyi
2016  Rwanda  DR Congo (2) Democratic Republic of the Congo Florent Ibengé Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo Meschak Elia
2018  Morocco  Morocco (1) Morocco Jamal Sellami Morocco Ayoub El Kaabi (9) Morocco Ayoub El Kaabi
2020  Cameroon  Morocco (2) Morocco Hussein Ammouta Morocco Soufiane Rahimi (5) Morocco Soufiane Rahimi
2022  Algeria  Senegal (1) Senegal Pape Thiaw Algeria Aymen Mahious (5) Algeria Houssem Eddine Mrezigue

Top goalscorers[edit]

The following players finished with five or more goals in a single edition of the tournament.

Goals Player(s) Nation(s) Year
9 Ayoub El Kaabi  Morocco 2018
5 Aymen Mahious  Algeria 2022
Soufiane Rahimi  Morocco 2020
Given Singuluma  Zambia 2009


Given Singuluma, the inaugural tournament hat-trick scorer.

A hat-trick is achieved when the same player scores three goals in a match. Listed in chronological order.

Player No. of goals Time of goals Representing Final score Opponent Tournament Round Date
1. Given Singuluma 3 36', 49', 50'  Zambia 3–0  Ivory Coast 2009 Group stage 22 February 2009
2. Chisom Chikatara 3 75', 81', 90'  Nigeria 4–1  Niger 2016 Group stage 18 January 2016
3. Ayoub El Kaabi 3 27', 65', 68'  Morocco 3–1  Guinea 2018 Group stage 17 January 2018

See also[edit]


  1. ^ French: Championnat d'Afrique des Nations; Arabic: بطولة أمم أفريقيا للمحليين, lit. Championship of African Nations


  1. ^ "New tournament for Africa". BBC Sport. 11 September 2007. Archived from the original on 2 March 2009.
  2. ^ "CAF Executive Committee Decisions". 19 September 2009. Archived from the original on 18 December 2008. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  3. ^ Sannie, Ibrahim (28 February 2009). "CAF plans to expand CHAN". BBC Sport. Retrieved 21 May 2009.
  4. ^ "Tunisia beat Angola in the CHAN final in Sudan". BBC Sport. 25 February 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2011.
  5. ^ "CHAN 2022: Expanded tournament set for unusual format". BBC Sport. 23 May 2022. Retrieved 5 January 2023.
  6. ^ Willis, Seth (23 May 2022). "Chan: Caf announces increase of teams from Algeria edition". Retrieved 5 January 2023.
  7. ^ "CAF Set To Increase CHAN 2023 From 16 To 18 Teams, Introduces New Format". Basic Sport in Nigeria (BSN). 11 May 2022. Retrieved 5 January 2023.
  8. ^ "CHAN Henceforth Taken into Account in FIFA Rankings". 14 January 2014. Archived from the original on 27 January 2022. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  9. ^ "Ghana 'favourites' to host 2018 CHAN after WAFU Nations Cup success". Ghana Soccernet. 29 September 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Total African Nations Championship". TotalEnergies. 20 May 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  11. ^ "DR Congo lift CHAN trophy". BBC Sport. 8 March 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  12. ^ "Nigeria 'do not have A and B teams' says Oliseh ahead of Nations Championship". The National. Abu Dhabi, UAE. 15 January 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  13. ^ "African Nations Championship in Rwanda gives domestic talent a chance". African Football. The Guardian. 15 January 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  14. ^ Komugisha, Usher (17 February 2015). "CAF sets dates for CHAN 2016". SuperSport. Archived from the original on 17 February 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  15. ^ "Kenya loses Chan hosting rights as Caf decides". Daily Nation. 23 September 2017. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  16. ^ "TOTAL CHAN 2018: Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia and Morocco are bidding for the organisation". 1 October 2017. Archived from the original on 10 September 2020. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Morocco will host Total CHAN 2018". 15 October 2017. Archived from the original on 7 April 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  18. ^ Isabirye, David (5 February 2018). "Morocco wins 2018 CHAN championship". Kawowo. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  19. ^ "Hosts Morocco crowned CHAN champions". BBC Sport. 4 February 2018. Retrieved 1 July 2022.
  20. ^ "Morocco win second CHAN title after defeating Mali in final". 7 February 2021. Archived from the original on 8 February 2021. Retrieved 16 November 2022.
  21. ^ "Morocco defeat Mali 2-0 to retain Chan title". 7 February 2021. Retrieved 16 November 2022.
  22. ^ "Senegal win penalty shootout against Algeria to become CHAN champions". 4 February 2023. Archived from the original on 5 February 2023. Retrieved 5 February 2023.
  23. ^ "Total, Title Sponsor of the Africa Cup of Nations and Partner of African Football". 21 July 2016. Archived from the original on 20 June 2023. Retrieved 3 June 2022.
  24. ^ "Total to sponsor CAF competitions for the next eight years". Africanews. 21 July 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2018.

External links[edit]