20 January 2006

African Cup of Nations Underway

The inaugural match of the African Cup of Nations tournament was played today and the host country Egypt thumped Libya by a scoreline of 3-0. Unlike most other confederations, the CAF holds a tournament every 2 years instead of every 4 years, and the timing couldn't be worse as far as the major European leagues are concerned. Premiership sides will have to make do without 25 players. All told about 200 European-based players will put country before club for the next 3 weeks.

Obviously, the rise of Africa as a producer of soccer talent, and the recent parity of the teams (traditional powers Nigeria and Cameroon failed to qualify for the summer's World Cup), make this a very intriguing tournament. Unfortunately, those of us in the U.S. will have to follow things from afar as the games will not be televised here.

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