Ghana’s AFCON History
by Chinazor Ikedimma on Feb 12, 2024
The AFCON, organized by the Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF), has evolved over time. Initially featuring only three teams in 1957, the tournament expanded significantly, reaching 24 teams in 2019 after several format changes. The introduction of qualifying rounds in 1968 coincided with the decision to hold the tournament biennially.
The inaugural AFCON in 1957, held in Khartoum, Sudan, saw Egypt clinch victory over the host nation in the final, earning the Abdel Aziz Abdallah Salem Trophy. However, Ghana's remarkable achievement in winning the tournament three times in a row led to the permanent awarding of the trophy to them in 1978, following their consecutive triumphs in 1963 and 1965.
Despite their dominance in the 1960s, Ghana experienced setbacks in subsequent tournaments, finishing as runners-up in 1992 after a penalty shootout loss to Ivory Coast. More recently, their journey in the 2015 and 2017 editions ended with a final appearance and a fourth-place finish, respectively.
However, Ghana faced challenges in the 2021 AFCON, failing to secure a victory and finishing at the bottom of their group. In the 2024 edition, despite initially holding a lead against Mozambique in their final match, they conceded two goals in injury time, ending their campaign prematurely in the group stage. This mirrored their fate in the opening game against Cape Verde, where they also conceded a late goal in injury time.
Despite the highs and lows, Ghana's presence in the AFCON remains significant, reflecting their enduring legacy and prowess in African football.