This week, we have so many things to look forward to. First, the kick-off (pun intended) of the 32nd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in just two short days at the Cairo International Stadium! Secondly, the fact that this year, our beloved country will be hosting the competition until the 19th of July. Finally, this will be a year of firsts for AFCON: First time to be held in June, instead of January, and the first time to include 24 teams, instead of 16.
Five days before the big day, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) made another big announcement, when it picked Al-Ahly President, Mahmoud El-Khatib, as one of the seven ambassadors of the 2019 AFCON. He was also invited to attend the opening match of the upcoming showpiece tournament between Egypt and Zimbabwe, on Friday at 10 pm.
According to KingFut, “Bibo” initiated his career with Al Ahly, where he stayed for the remainder of his successful football journey. He managed to lift 10 Egyptian Premier League trophies with the Red Devils, as well as two Egypt Cups and two CAF Champions League titles. He was also prominent on an international level, winning the 1986 African Cup of Nations. Eventually, he earned his well-deserved title of African Player of the Year in 1983. He was also recently included in France Football’s 30-man list for the best African players in history.
According to CAF’s official website, six more African legends were chosen as ambassadors: Algeria’s Rabah Madjer; Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o; Ivorian duo, Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba; Senegal’s El-Hadji Diouf; and Nwankwo Kanu of Nigeria. You can learn more about each of these icons from the brief profiles, listed on the website.
Egypt has won the cup on seven previous occasions, so it’s time to bring home the trophy for the eighth time!