AFCON 2023: The Haters’ Tournament that Has Gathered So Much Attention - Newslibre

AFCON 2023: The Haters’ Tournament that Has Gathered So Much Attention

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Africa’s biggest football showpiece will go down as one of the most memorable tournaments in the history of the continent. The tournament which was first played in 1957 has since gone on to be held 34 times with this year’s included.

The AFCON has produced some of the best footballers the likes of Haji, Jay Jay Okocha, El Haji Diouf, Samuel Eto’o, Mark Fish, Taribo West, Aboutrika, Pele, and George Weah among others. For many years, the tournament has been accused of being dull, less entertaining and offering little for branding and marketing purposes. But this year, something changed and something changed for the better.

In 2017, two changes were proposed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) with one being that the tournament would be played during the Northern Hemisphere summer (June-July), which would fall around the time when most of the leagues around the world or for being straight forward when the European leagues are on holiday. The second is that there would be an expansion of teams from the perennial 16 to 24.

The increase has been such a brilliant move by the continent’s football governing body which has allowed for the lesser strong nations to also qualify for the AFCON. But, that is not why we are here, we are here because this specific AFCON has been so impressive with fans labelling it the Haters’ competition.

This tournament has seen countries, players, coaches, and fans from opposing fans openly hating on nations. Algerian fans were seen celebrating South Africa knocking out Morocco in the round of 16, and Nigerian fans are perhaps the happiest with them celebrating the elimination of Ghana and Cameroon.

Former Uganda Cranes tactician Micho was also seen on X (formerly known as Twitter) celebrating the elimination of Algeria with the tactician posting this on his X timeline “Dear Algerians, I am sorry for unfortunate situation next time better. What goes around comes around. What you COOKED in SEPTEMBER almighty ALLAH served u in JANUARY. FOOTBALL is a cruel GAME at least now u know how 50 million UGANDANS felt in SEPTEMBER as u were thinking you would ESCAPE.”

Nigerians on X had no kind words for their Jollof rice counterparts in Ghana as they openly celebrated their elimination from the tournament. One X user aptly described AFCON saying “AFCON is more about seeing the failure of your enemies than the success of your team”, Said UnkleKwanz.

Other fans from different countries chose to hate Senegal for choosing to play free-flowing football at AFCON and they would rather that the Terenga Lions go showcase their flare at the World Cup and leave the AFCON for serious madness. The hate was well received by the football gods that Senegal got knocked out by a struggling Ivory Coast.

Is this all we can define AFCON 2023 as?

Well, this AFCON has been brilliant as the tournament has been able to produce some of the best goals the tournament has seen in quite a while. The tournament has seen some of the best officiating that has been seen at any tournament level with VAR always coming in at the right time to overturn decisions or to better inform decisions. Overall, AFCON officiating has been very good.

This AFCON has also seen the top 5 FIFA-ranked nations at the tournament all knocked out at the round of 16. Defending champions Senegal were knocked out by Senegal. Additionally, all the 2021 quarter-finalists have been knocked out from the last round of 16.

Cape Verde, Mauritania, and Equatorial Guinea displayed some incredible football while at the same they upsetting some of the big teams. Of the lot, Cape Verde is into the quarter-finals with teams like Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Mali, Guinea, South Africa, Angola, and DR. Congo

Also read: Jump in on the Action! A Simple Guide to Using an Online Sportsbook

AFCON 2023: The Haters’ Tournament that Has Gathered So Much Attention 1

Author: Moses Echodu

Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.

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