Interesting facts about Ghana's infamous AFCON trophy drought

Pulse Sports' Fiifi Anaman brings you some fascinating tit bits about Ghana's 35-year AFCON trophy drought


The Cameroonians are now on five AFCON titles, two behind record-holders Egypt, and one ahead of Ghana.

After previous wins in 1963, 1965 and 1978, the Black Stars last tasted continental glory at the 1982 AFCON in Libya.

They beat hosts Libya 7-6 on penalties after a 1-1 draw to win the trophy on Friday the 19th of March, 1982.

Here are some interesting facts about this much discussed Ghana trophy drought since 1982.

---It's been 34 years and 10 months.

---It's been 12,743 days, 1820 weeks and 418 months (*all date figures correct as at Monday February 6, 2017)

---None of the members of Ghana's AFCON 2017 squad was born when Ghana last won.


---Ghana has been to 14 of 18 AFCON tournaments since that 1982 triumph, all without a single win.

---The team has lost three finals since then (1992, 2010 and 2015). Two of these (1992 and 2015) have been on penalties, all against the same team (Ivory Coast).

---They have finished third (bronze medals) once (in 2008 on home soil) and fourth four times (1996, 2012, 2013, 2017).

---At the time Ghana last won it, they were the most successful African nation with four titles. Since then, Egypt have won it five times (1986, 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010) while Cameroon, who had never tasted AFCON glory by then, have since lifted the trophy five times (1984, 1988, 2000, 2002 and 2017).

---As many as six different countries have won the AFCON for the first time since Ghana's last win. (Cameroon in 1984, Algeria in 1990, Ivory Coast in 1992, South Africa in 1996, Tunisia in 2014 and Zambia in 2012).

---Nigeria, Ghana's biggest rivals in African football, have won the AFCON twice since 1982 (1994 and 2013).

---Ghana has twice hosted and failed to win the AFCON since 1982 - 2000, co-hosted with Nigeria (Quarter final) and 2008 (Third place).

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---The country has seen 23 coaches come and go during this close to 35-year period.

---Since the legendary coach Charles Kumi 'CK' Gyamfi led Ghana to the 1982 AFCON, a total of 13 different coaches have taken Ghana to an AFCON, each failing to win the ultimate.

---Since 1982, two former AFCON winning coaches have failed to win the trophy while in charge of Ghana. Fred Osam Doudu, who won the 1978 AFCON on home soil for Ghana, returned to coach the team for the 2002 AFCON in Mali and failed to win, reaching the Quarter Final. Claude Le Roy, AFCON winner with Cameroon at the 1988 edition hosted in Morocco, failed to win the 2008 AFCON while coaching the hosts Ghana - he finished third.

---In 1982, when Ghana last won, current coach Avram Grant was a 28-year-old coach in charge of the Youth Team of his Israeli club Hapoel Petah Tikva, based in his hometown. Grant, now 61, has failed twice to win the AFCON for Ghana - Runner-up in 2015 and fourth place in 2017.

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---The last Ghana captain to lift an AFCON trophy was Emmanuel Quarshie, then a 29-year-old who played for Zamalek in Egypt. Quarshie, who lifted the Trophy of African Unity at the 11th June Stadium in Tripoli, died in September 2013. He had been a part of the 1978 AFCON winning squad of Ghana (playing one game). In 1984, he won the Africa Champion Clubs Cup (now CAF Champions League) with Zamalek.

--- The country has seen five Heads of State since then (Jerry Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor, John Evans Attah Mills, John Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo.

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--- Ghana's first two AFCON triumphs occurred under the Ghana FA Presidency of Mr H.P Nyemetei (Ohene Djan was the Director of Sports). In 1978, Major D.O Asiamah was the FA chief when Ghana hosted and won the competition. In 1982, the FA chairman when Ghana won gold in Libya was Mr Zac Bentum. Since then, there have been 11 Ghana FA Presidents in close to 35 years who have all failed to deliver an AFCON trophy.

--- The last AFCON squad to deliver Ghana the trophy was made up of 22 players, only two (Emmanuel Quarshie of Zamalek and George Alhassan of FC 105) were based outside of Ghana.

It included 17-year-old Abedi Pele and a young James Kwesi Appiah, who would coach the Black Stars from 2012 to 2014.

--- The last Ghanaian player to score in an AFCON final was George Alhassan, then a 26-year-old striker of the 1982 squad. He scored in the 35th minute of Ghana's 1-1 draw with hosts Libya in Tripoli (Ghana went on to win the shootouts).

Alhassan, who was then playing for FC 105 in Gabon, also emerged the top scorer after the tournament with four goals. He was nicknamed 'Jair' after the great Brazilian striker Jairzinho, who scored in every game of the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.

Ghana has since played three finals after 1992 without scoring a single goal.

---Only Mubarak Wakaso (2013 - four goals) and Andre Ayew (2015 - three goals) have been able to achieve Alhassan's feat of being a Ghanaian top scorer at an AFCON since 1982.

--- Since the AFCON triumph of 1982, Ghana's junior national teams have won many trophies. The Under 17 men's team, the Black Starlets, won the World Cup in 1991 and 1995, and the Africa Cup in 1995 and 1999.

The Under 20 team, the Black Satellites, won the World Cup in 2009 and the Africa Cup in 1993, 1999 and 2009). The Olympic team, the Black Meteors, won Africa's first Olympic medal when they grabbed bronze at Barcelona 1992.


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