Egypt are a day away from hosting AFCON 2019. We look at the five previous hosts and how they fared at the finals.
Host nations always have home support and thus, they are often favourites to win the tournament. Most especially Egypt who have won the cup no less than seven times.
But how often do hosts emerge as champions? Get knocked out in the first round? Or just a bit close but not enough…
Five hosts and how far they went on home soil:
2010 – Angola
The Fennec foxes were the host nation of the 2010 event where they only went as far as the quarter-finals after losing 1-0 to Ghana. The Pharaohs of Egypt would eventually march on to lift the cup for the seventh time when they beat Ghana 1-0 in front of 45 000 spectators in Luanda.
2012 – Gabon & Equatorial Guinea
Perhaps the most emotional AFCON final win of all time, Zambia defied all odds and defeated the highly-fancied big boys of Ivory Coast 9-8 on penalties. The Southern Africans won their first ever AFCON title in front of 40 000 fans in Libreville. The win was in memory of the Zambian team members who tragically died in a plane crash near the final’s venue in Libreville in 1993.
2013 – South Africa
1996 hosts and winners South Africa stepped in as emergency hosts following a violent crisis original hosts Libya. Bafana were eliminated by Mali on penalty shootouts, while Nigeria would emerge as the eventual champions by beating Burkina Faso 1-0 in Johannesburg.
2015 – Equatorial Guinea
After co-hosting with Gabon two years prior, Equatorial Guinea found themselves the sole organisers in 2015. The dream to become champions on home soil was not be realised though, as they ended on fourth place. Ivory Coast was crowned champions after beating Ghana 9-8 on penalties in Bata.
2017 – Gabon
The last AFCON was Gabon’s turn to welcome the continent to its shores after the tournament was again taken away from Libya. The Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang-led Gabon gravely disappointed its home fans by exiting in the group stages. Cameroon became 2017 champions on a pulsating final where they defeated Egypt 2-1 in Libreville.
With Egypt being the last host nation to win it on home soil 13 years ago, history may very well repeat itself come June.