Explore the 10 biggest controversial moments in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). From disputed penalties to match-fixing scandals, these moments have sparked debates and discussions among fans, players, and officials. Learn about the passion, drama, and controversies that make the AFCON such a captivating football tournament.
AFCON Controversial Moments
The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is one of the most prestigious football tournaments in Africa, showcasing the talent and passion of the continent’s football teams. Over the years, the tournament has witnessed its fair share of controversial moments that have sparked debates and discussions among fans, players, and officials. In this article, we will explore the 10 biggest controversial moments in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations.
1. The Disputed Penalty – Egypt vs. Cameroon (2008)
In the final match of the 2008 AFCON, Egypt faced Cameroon. With the score tied at 0-0, Cameroon was awarded a penalty in the dying minutes of the game. However, controversy erupted when it was revealed that the referee had mistakenly awarded the penalty for a handball that never occurred. Egypt went on to win the match and the tournament, leaving Cameroon feeling aggrieved.
2. The Togo Bus Attack (2010)
In a shocking turn of events, the Togo national team bus was attacked by gunmen in Angola, where the 2010 AFCON was being held. The attack resulted in the death of three people and several injuries, including Togo players and staff. The incident led to Togo’s withdrawal from the tournament and raised questions about the security measures in place.
3. The Disallowed Goal – Ghana vs. Burkina Faso (2013)
In the semi-final match of the 2013 AFCON, Ghana faced Burkina Faso. With the score tied at 1-1 in extra time, Ghana thought they had scored a winning goal, only for it to be disallowed due to a controversial offside decision. Burkina Faso eventually won the match in a penalty shootout, leaving Ghana and their fans frustrated.
4. The Riot – Ivory Coast vs. Mali (2002)
In the quarter-final match of the 2002 AFCON, Ivory Coast faced Mali. The match was marred by a violent riot that erupted in the stands, leading to the suspension of the game for over 30 minutes. The riot was fueled by tensions between rival fan groups and resulted in injuries to both fans and security personnel.
5. The Hand of God – Algeria vs. Nigeria (1982)
In a group stage match of the 1982 AFCON, Algeria faced Nigeria. With the score tied at 2-2, Algeria’s Lakhdar Belloumi scored a controversial winning goal that became known as the “Hand of God.” Replays showed that Belloumi had used his hand to control the ball before scoring, sparking outrage among Nigerian players and fans.
6. The Disqualified Team – Senegal (1992)
In the 1992 AFCON, Senegal was disqualified from the tournament after refusing to continue their match against Ivory Coast. Senegal protested a controversial penalty decision and walked off the pitch, leading to their disqualification. The incident raised questions about the conduct of players and the importance of fair play.
7. The Banned Referee – Tunisia vs. Nigeria (2000)
In the final match of the 2000 AFCON, Tunisia faced Nigeria. The referee, Gamal Al-Ghandour, made several controversial decisions that favored Tunisia. His performance was heavily criticized, and he was subsequently banned from officiating in international matches. The incident highlighted the importance of fair officiating in football.
8. The Match Fixing Scandal – Zimbabwe (2019)
In 2019, a match-fixing scandal rocked the Zimbabwe national team during the AFCON qualifiers. Several players were implicated in a bribery scheme, leading to their suspension and tarnishing the reputation of Zimbabwean football. The incident shed light on the issue of corruption in African football.
9. The Disqualified Hosts – Kenya (1996)
In 1996, Kenya was set to host the AFCON tournament. However, due to concerns about the state of their stadiums and infrastructure, Kenya was disqualified as the host nation. The decision sparked controversy and disappointment among Kenyan football fans, who had been eagerly anticipating the tournament.
10. The Controversial Red Card – Cameroon vs. Egypt (2017)
The last AFCON controversial moments I want to mention is in the final match of the 2017 AFCON, Cameroon faced Egypt. The match saw a controversial red card being shown to Cameroon’s Ernest Mabouka for a tackle on Egypt’s Mohamed Elneny. The decision was widely criticized, with many arguing that it was a harsh and unjustified red card that affected the outcome of the match.
This article was updated 1 month ago