Senegal was ecstatic when Kalidou Koulibaly claimed the prized Africa Cup of Nations trophy in 2022.
After failing in 2019, the Teranga Lions finally succeeded, defeating Egypt’s Pharaohs on penalties and leaving Cameroon with a $5 million cash prize.
Another AFCON competition is on the horizon in two years. The winner’s reward money has increased significantly this time. The winning team will get $7 million, which is a 40% increase over the previous season.
But how does this statistic compare to the previous five editions?
Comparing 2023 figures to 2021
The AFCON runner-up in Ivory Coast will win $4 million, the two other semi-finalists will each receive $2.5 million, and the four other quarter-finalists will each receive $1.3 million.
These results total $21.3 million in prize money for teams finishing in the top eight.
Egypt won $2.75 million for placing second in Cameroon, while the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon and Burkina Faso received $2.2 million for finishing in the semis.
Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, and Morocco each received $1.8 million after being eliminated in the quarter-finals. As a result, the top eight in the previous season received $19.35 million.
Aside from the increase in the winner’s prize money, the fall in earnings for quarter-finalist teams is notable.
Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, and Morocco would observe that reaching the tournament’s semi-finals is more gratifying now than it was previously.
Prize money for winners from 2013
Nigeria received $1.5 million in 2013 after winning the trophy for the third time in their history. Two years later, Ivory Coast received the same sum following a penalty shootout victory against Ghana.
Cameroon’s prize money increased by $2.5 million in 2017, bringing it to $4 million. Algeria received $4.5 million after defeating Senegal, and the Teranga Lions increased their earnings to $5 million in early 2022.
The winner will now get $7 million, an increase of more than 300% over 2013.
Ghana came closest to winning the most money within this time period in 2015, just losing to Ivory Coast.
Since then, the Black Stars have had to settle for semi-final finishes until 2019, when they were eliminated in the round of 16 by Tunisia, and 2021, when they suffered their worst-ever AFCON performance, failing to win any of their three group games.
The marker is presently in place. If they want to win it all, they must raise $7 million. The bragging rights that come with winning the trophy after 42 years of failure may be more enjoyable to Ghanaians.
The race has begun.
Rigobert Song steps down as Cameroon head coach
Rigobert Song has resigned as Cameroon’s head coach, according to Samuel Eto’o, president of the Cameroonian Football Federation (Fecafoot).
This follows Cameroon’s poor performance at the Africa Cup of Nations, where they were ousted in the final 16 by Nigeria.
Eto’o indicated that the decision to break ways with Song was based on the team’s inability to accomplish its goals and that the executive committee and he did not consider extending Song’s contract as an option.
“We have not achieved our objectives, and our executive committee and I do not see ourselves renewing the contract (with Song),” Eto’o was quoted as saying by France 24.
Song, Eto’o’s former international teammate, was named Cameroon manager in February 2022.
Under his guidance, the Indomitable Lions qualified for the Qatar World Cup with a stunning extra-time victory over Algeria.
Cameroon, on the other hand, struggled throughout the competition, finishing last in the group stage despite a surprise victory over Brazil in the last game.
Eto’o praised Song’s efforts to the team, stating, “Song brought a lot to this team.”
However, he stressed the need to look ahead and find a new coach who can assist the club succeed.
During his tenure, Song supervised 23 matches, winning only six of them. Despite his attempts, Cameroon’s performance under his leadership was judged inadequate, prompting his resignation from the position.
Zambia crashes Black Queens’ Olympic dreams
Ghana’s Black Queens almost lost out on a ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, losing to Zambia in the third round of qualifying.
The second leg match finished in an exciting 3-3 tie, giving Zambia a 4-3 aggregate victory courtesy to their 1-0 triumph in the first leg in Accra.
Despite a strong showing by the Black Queens, Zambia’s Cooper Queens won, crushing Ghana’s chances of going to the next round.
Zambia advanced to the next round, where they will face either Morocco or Tunisia, after scoring a free-kick on the stroke of full time.
Zambia opened the scoring in the thrilling match at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, with Barbra Banda scoring after only 11 minutes.
Gifty Assifuah cancelled out her goal 10 minutes later, and the Black Queens moved ahead with a second goal from Doris Boaduwaa to even the aggregate score.
Kabange Mupopo forced an equaliser in the 61st minute, but Azumah Bugri scored four minutes later to restore Ghana’s advantage and offer them another chance of qualifying.
However, that hope was destroyed when Jennifer Cudjoe was sent off for a second yellow card, and the ensuing free kick found the back of the goal.
While the outcome is unfortunate for Ghana, the squad may be proud of their better performance over the first leg.
They will now turn their attention to the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, which will take place later this year.
Zambia, on the other hand, advanced to the last qualifying round with strong hopes of earning a place in Paris. Their outstanding performance against Ghana implies that they might be a serious contender in the competition.
Jordan Ayew scores as Crystal Palace defeat Burnley
Crystal Palace secured a crucial victory in their relegation struggle by overcoming 10-man Burnley 3-0 in new manager Oliver Glasner’s first game.
Ghana forward Jordan Ayew scored one of the goals, extending his impressive record in front of goal. He also assisted, bringing his total goal contributions to ten this season.
Palace controlled possession in the first half but were unable to produce clear-cut chances against a determined Burnley defence. The visitors were reduced to ten men just before halftime when Josh Brownhill was awarded a straight red card for taking down Jefferson Lerma when in on goal.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Burnley held on until the 68th minute, when Ayew sent a precise cross that defender Chris Richards met with a thumping header into the bottom corner.
Just three minutes later, replacement Matheus Franca linked nicely with Tyrick Mitchell down the left wing, and Ayew tapped in his low cross from close range to make it 2-0. After Vitinho fouled Franca, Jean-Philippe Mateta comfortably took a penalty to secure the win.
As Palace grabbed a critical three points, Burnley striker David Datro Fofana had a late goal ruled out for offside. The victory lifts Palace eight points clear of the relegation zone and marks a successful debut for new boss Glasner, who becomes only the second Palace manager to win his first Premier League game in charge.
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