July 5, 2022

AFCON 2021: Algeria cement spot on ugly list of underperforming defending champions

By Brian Aheebwa
Algeria captain Riyadh Mahrez cuts a frustrated figure after their elimination from the 2021 AFCON | Courtesy photo

Failure to go past the group stages of the Africa Cup of Nations having won the previous edition has not started with Algeria.

However, the Desert Foxes and Ghana have done it more (twice) as we take a look at all the 11 teams that faced the above curse from 1957 to 2021.

After winning the 1990 AFCON trophy at home, Algeria was eliminated from the group stages of the following tournament hosted in Ivory Coast in 1992.

The same happened at the ongoing 2021 AFCON in Cameroon where they exited at the group stage level after winning the previous edition held in Egypt in 2019.

During the 2000s, two other nations also tasted it that is Ivory Coast and Zambia.

The Elephants of Ivory Coast won the 2015 AFCON in Equatorial Guinea which was followed by a group stage exit in 2017 in Gabon.

The Chipolopolo of Zambia were crowned champions in the 2012 edition co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea but never went past the group stages in the next tournament played in South Africa in 2013.

Cameroon, the 1988 winners in Morocco could not afford a place beyond the group stages in the following tournament hosted in Algeria in 1990.

Egypt, who won it in 1986 in their backyard, were eliminated at the group stage level at the 1988 edition held in Morocco.

Ghana was champion in 1982 in Libya, but their participation in the 1984 edition in Ivory Coast ended in the group stages.

The Black Stars had first faced the above challenge when they won the 1978 AFCON trophy in their homeland but did not go past the group stages in the next tournament played in Nigeria in 1980.

The 1980 AFCON tournament in Nigeria saw the hosts emerge victorious though they were ejected at the group stage level in the following 1982 edition in Libya.

Morocco’s only AFCON trophy to date came in 1976 in Ethiopia, and the following edition in 1978, they stopped in the group stages in Ghana.

The Democratic Republic of Congo won the first of their two AFCON titles in 1974 in Egypt but did not reach the knockouts of the following tournament hosted in Ethiopia in 1976.

The first team to be challenged regards the above matter was Sudan, who won the 1970 edition in their land but couldn’t make it out of the group in 1972 in Cameroon.

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