2015 African Cup of Nations

The 2015 CAF African Cup of Nations (2015 Afcon, also known as 2015 Orange CAF Africa Cup of Nations for sponsorship reasons) is a football tournament scheduled that got underway on January 17, 2015 and conclude on February 8, 2015 in Equatorial Guinea.

2015 Africa Cup of Nations Logo
Host Equatorial Guinea
Administrator CAF
Since 1957
Edition 30th
2013 Winners Nigeria (3rd)
Most Successful Egypt (7)

Date

January 17 – February 8, 2015
Teams 16
Host Cities 4
Venues 4
Match Ball Marhaba
Mascot Chuku Chuku

Outcome

Champions Ivory Coast (2)
Runner’s Up Ghana
Third Place Congo DR
Fourth Place Equatorial Guinea

Statistics

Matches Played 32
Goals Scored 68
Attendance Unknown

Awards

Top Scorer André Ayew (3)
Best Player Christian Atsu
Best Keeper Unknown

The 2015 CAF African Cup of Nations is the 30th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations.

The 2015 Orange CAF Africa Cup of Nations football tournament will get underway on January 17, 2015 at Estadio de Bata in the port city of Bata in the Litoral Province of Equatorial Guinea.

The Opening match will be contested between hosts Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo.

The 2015 Orange CAF Africa Cup of Nations football tournament was originally intended to take in Morocco, however, that country signaled an intention to pull out as hosts following the Ebola Virus outbreak in West Africa.

In October 2014 Morocco initially requested that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to either let them host the 2017 African Cup of Nations which was originally set to be hosted by South Africa (now to be hosted by Libya – who have since pulled out once again due to security reasons and delays in stadium construction) but later switched with Libya who were going to host the 2013.

Or the Confederation of African Football postpone the 2015 Orange CAF Africa Cup of Nations football tournament to 2016 with hopes that by then Ebola Virus outbreak would have been brought under reasonable control.

Or they (Morocco) pull out completely as hosts and face whatever sanctioned is imposed on them by the Confederation of African Football.

In November 2014 Morocco concluded that they were pulling out as hosts of the 2015 CAF African Nations Cup “the decision is dictated by health reasons because of the serious threat of Ebola and the risk of its spreading,” Morocco’s sports ministry said in a statement.

“Also motivated by humanitarian reasons since it is our responsibility to welcome all our guests and supporters in the best conditions in accordance with the culture and hospitality Moroccan traditions,” Morocco’s sports ministry continued in that statement.

On November 14, 2014 the Confederation of African Football revealed that Equatorial Guinea will replace Morocco as hosts of the 2015 CAF African Cup of Nations.

The other countries that had expressed the interested to host the 2013 CAF African Cup of Nations are: Botswana, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced that the new hosts was decided upon after a meeting in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, between the president of that country,Teodoro Obiang, and CAF president Issa Hayatou.

“The head of state of Equatorial Guinea agreed to host the competition. As a result, the CAF executive committee confirm that the tournament will go ahead and Equatorial Guinea will compete as the host nation,” a CAF statement read.

Equatorial Guinea previously co-hosted the 2012 CAF African Cup of Nations with their neighbors, Gabon; in that edition of the Africa Cup of Nations Zambia went all the way to capture their first title in the final against Ivory Coast in Libreville, the capital city of Gabon.

The 2015 CAF African Cup of Nations will feature the following countries; Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (hosts), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia and Zambia.

The tournament will be contested without the African football powerhouse Egypt who have fallen behind in the wake of the ongoing political turmoil in that country, they finished third in the group (Group G) with 6 point behind group winners Tunisia and runners’ up Senegal.

The other conspicuous absence is that of the defending champions and the African football powerhouse in their own right, Nigeria, they finished third with 8 points behind Group A winners South Africa and runners’ up the Republic of Congo.

The most notable return is that of the of four times champions (1984, 1988, 2000, 2002), Cameroon, who have not appeared in the CAF Afcon finals since the 2010 African Cup of Nations held in Angola where Egypt captured their 7th Afcon title.

 

Qualification

The tournaments hosts gain automatic qualification while the other fifteen teams qualify through a series of competitive football matches.

Morocco who were going to host the tournament had qualified due to the fact that they were going to host while the replacement hosts, Equatorial Guinea, had been disqualified from the 2014 Afcon after they fielded an ineligible player.

Equatorial Guinea now qualify by virtue of being hosts.

All in all 51 teams entered the tournament with the exception of Morocco who would have qualified for the last sixteen (16) by being hosts while Djibouti and Somalia declined to enter the tournament.

The 21 best ranked teams gained automatic passage to the group stages while the next 26 teams began play in the second preliminary round, and four lowest ranked teams started at the first round. The three preliminary rounds were a series of playoffs, with the winners advancing.

 

Qualified Teams

Team Qualification Method Qualification Date Finals Appearance Last Appearance Best Performance
Flag of Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea Host November 14, 2014 2nd 2012 Quarter-finals (2012)
Flag of Cape Verde Cape Verde Group F Winners October 15, 2014 2nd 2013 Quarter-finals (2013)
Flag_of_Algeria Algeria Group B Winners October 15, 2014 16th 2013 Winners (1990)
Flag of Tunisia Tunisia Group G Winners November 14, 2014 17th 2013 Winners (2004)
The Flag of the Republic of South Africa  South Africa Group A Winners November 15, 2014 9th 2013 Winners (1996)
Flag of Zambia Zambia Group F Runners-up November 15, 2014 17th 2013 Winners (2012)
Flag of Cameroon Cameroon Group D Winners November 15, 2014 17th 2010 Winners (1984, 1988, 2000, 2002)
Flag_of_Gabon Gabon Group C Winners November 15, 2014 6th 2012 Quarter-finals (1996, 2012)
Flag of Burkina Faso  Burkina Faso Group C Runners-up November 15, 2014 10th 2013 Runners-up (2013)
The Flag of Senegal Senegal Group G Runners-up November 15, 2014 13th 2012 Runners-up (2002)
Flag of Ivory Coast Ivory Coast Group D Runners-up November 19, 2014 21st 2013 Winners (199)
Flag_of_Ghana  Ghana Group E Winners November 19, 2014 20th 2013 Winners (1963, 1965, 1978, 1982)
Flag of Guinea Guinea Group E Runners-up November 19, 2014 11th 2012 Runners-up (1976)
Flag of Mali Mali Group B Runners-up November 19, 2014 9th 2013 Runners-up (1972)
The Flag of the Republic of Congo  Congo Group A Runners-up November 19, 2014 7th 2000 Winners (1972)
Flag_of_the_Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo Congo DR Best 3rd Placed Team November 19, 2014 17th 2013 Winners (1968, 1974)

 

 

Venues

The 2015 CAF African Cup of Nations will be played in four stadiums located in four cities across Equatorial Guinea.

The stadiums are: Estadio de Bata in the city of Bata in the Litoral Province; Nuevo Estadio de Malabo in the capital of Equatorial Guinea, located on the northern coast of Bioko Island; Estadio de Mongomo in the town of Mongomo in the Wele-Nzas Province; and Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyín in the town of Ebebiyín in northeast of Rio Muni in the Kié-Ntem Province.

 

 

Official Match Ball

The official match ball for the 2015 Orange CAF African Cup of Nations, Adidas Marhaba, was presented by Adidas and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on November 26, 2014.

Adidas Marhaba, the official 2015 Afcon match ballThe name of the ball, “Marhaba”, is an Arabic word which means “Welcome” in English.

Marhaba was designed by the German sports goods manufacture, Adidas, in collaboration with the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

The ball designers drew inspiration from “the contrasting landscapes of the continent, from the Sahara desert to the bright azure sky”, as stated in the Adidas news website.

On Wednesday December 03, 2014 Marhaba was officially presented by CAF and the Local Organising Committee during the tournament draw in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

 

 

Official Mascot

Chuku Chuku, the official 2015 Afcon mascotThe official mascot for the 2015 Orange CAF African Cup of Nations, Chuku Chuku, was unveiled on January 12, 2015.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) tweeted on their official Twitter account, “Show some love for Chuku Chuku, the official mascot of #AFCON2015 Eq Guinea! We’re nuts for this sporty squirrel!”

While CAF referred to the Chuku Chuku as a “squirrel”, on the 2015 Afcon Wikipedia page Chuku Chuku is referred to as a “porcupine”.

 

 

Draw

The draw was initially going to be held in Rabat, the capital of Morocco on November 26, 2014 but that country pulled out as hosts.

The draw was then held in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea on December 3, 2014.

The 16 teams were divided into four pots based on the CAF Ranking, with the hosts Equatorial Guinea placed in Pot 1 automatically.

The ranking is computed using the teams’ results in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers (weighted by 2), 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals (weighted by 3) and qualifiers, the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations finals (weighted by 2) and qualifiers (weighted by 0.5), and the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

 

 

 

Draw Table

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4
Flag of Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea (Hosts) Flag of Burkina Faso Burkina Faso (40 points) Flag of Cape Verde Cape Verde (26.5 points) Flag of Guinea Guinea (19 points)
Flag_of_Ghana Ghana (48 points) Flag of Mali Mali (38 points) The Flag of the Republic of South Africa South Africa (23.5 points) The Flag of Senegal Senegal (19 points)
Flag of Ivory Coast Ivory Coast (44 points) Flag of Tunisia Tunisia (32.5 points) Flag of Cameroon Cameroon (23.5 points) Flag_of_the_Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo Congo DR (18 points)
Flag of Zambia Zambia (41 points) Flag_of_Algeria Algeria (28 points) Flag_of_Gabon Gabon (22 points) The Flag of the Republic of Congo Congo (13 points)

 

Format

At the finals, the 16 teams are drawn into four groups of four teams each. The teams in each group play a single round robin. After group stage, the top two teams from each group will qualify for the quarterfinals. The quarterfinal winners will advance to the semifinals. The semifinal losers will play in third place match, while winners will play in final.

 

Group Stages

The group winners and runners-up advance to the quarter-finals.

  • Tiebreakers

The teams are ranked according to points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss). If tied on points, tiebreakers are applied in the following order.

  1. Number of points obtained in games between the teams concerned;
  2. Goal difference in games between the teams concerned;
  3. Goals scored in games between the teams concerned;
  4. If, after applying criteria 1 to 3 to several teams, two teams still have an equal ranking, criteria 1 to 4 are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the two teams in question to determine their final rankings. If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria 5 to 7 apply;
  5. Goal difference in all games;
  6. Goals scored in all games;
  7. Drawing of lots.

 

 

Group A

Pos Team Plyd W D L GF GA GD Pnts
1. Increase The Flag of the Republic of Congo Congo 3 2 1 0 4 2 +2 7
2. Increase Flag of Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea 3 1 2 0 3 1 +2 5
3. Decrease Flag_of_Gabon Gabon 3 1 0 2 2 3 -1 3
4. Decrease Flag of Burkina Faso Burkina Faso 3 0 1 2 1 4 -3 1

 

 

Group A Matches

Date Home Team Score Away Team Venue
01. 2015.01.17 Flag of Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea 1-1 The Flag of the Republic of Congo Congo Estadio de Bata, Bata
02. 2015.01.17  Flag of Burkina Faso Burkina Faso 0-2 Flag_of_Gabon Gabon Estadio de Bata, Bata
09. 2015.01.21 Flag of Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea 0-0 Flag of Burkina Faso Burkina Faso Estadio de Bata, Bata
10. 2015.01.21 Flag_of_Gabon Gabon 0-1 The Flag of the Republic of Congo Congo Estadio de Bata, Bata
17. 2015.01.25 Flag_of_Gabon Gabon 0-2 Flag of Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea Estadio de Bata, Bata
18. 2015.01.25 The Flag of the Republic of Congo Congo 2-1 Flag of Burkina Faso Burkina Faso Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyín, Ebebiyín

 

 

Group B

Pos Team Plyd W D L GF GA GD Pnts
1. Increase Flag of Tunisia Tunisia 3 1 2 0 4 3 +1 5
2. Increase Flag_of_the_Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo Congo DR 3 0 3 0 2 2 0 3
3. Decrease Flag of Cape Verde Cape Verde 3 0 3 0 1 1 0 3
4. Decrease Flag of Zambia Zambia 3 0 2 1 2 3 -1 2

 

 

Group B Matches

Date Home Team Score Away Team Venue
03. 2015.01.18 Flag of Zambia Zambia 1-1 Flag_of_the_Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo Congo DR
Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyín, Ebebiyín
04. 2015.01.18 Flag of Tunisia Tunisia 1-1 Flag of Cape Verde Cape Verde Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyín, Ebebiyín
11. 2015.01.22 Flag of Zambia Zambia 1-2 Flag of Tunisia Tunisia Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyín, Ebebiyín
12. 2015.01.22 Flag of Cape Verde Cape Verde 0-0 Flag_of_the_Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo Congo DR
Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyín, Ebebiyín
19. 2015.01.26 Flag of Cape Verde Cape Verde
0-0 Flag of Zambia Zambia Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyín, Ebebiyín
20. 2015.01.26 Flag_of_the_Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo Congo DR
1-1 Flag of Tunisia Tunisia Estadio de Bata, Bata

 

 

 

Group C

Pos Team Plyd W D L GF GA GD Pnts
1. Increase Flag_of_Algeria Algeria 3 2 1 1 5 2 +3 6
2. Increase Flag_of_Ghana Ghana 3 2 0 1 4 3 +1 6
3. Decrease The Flag of Senegal Senegal 3 1 1 1 3 4 -1 4
4. Decrease The Flag of the Republic of South Africa South Africa 3 0 1 2 3 6 -3 2

 

 

Group C Matches

Date Home Team Score Away Team Venue
05. 2015.01.19 Flag_of_Ghana Ghana 1-2 The Flag of Senegal Senegal Estadio de Mongomo, Mongomo
06. 2015.01.19 Flag_of_Algeria Algeria 3-1 The Flag of the Republic of South Africa South Africa Estadio de Mongomo, Mongomo
13. 2015.01.23 Flag_of_Ghana Ghana 1-0 Flag_of_Algeria Algeria Estadio de Mongomo, Mongomo
14. 2015.01.23 The Flag of the Republic of South Africa South Africa 1-1 The Flag of Senegal Senegal
Estadio de Mongomo, Mongomo
21. 2015.01.27 The Flag of the Republic of South Africa South Africa
1-2 Flag_of_Ghana Ghana Estadio de Mongomo, Mongomo
22. 2015.01.27 The Flag of Senegal Senegal
0-2 Flag_of_Algeria Algeria Nuevo Estadio de Malabo, Malabo

 

Group D

Pos Team Plyd W D L GF GA GD Pnts
1. Increase Flag of Ivory Coast Ivory Coast
3 1 2 0 3 2 +1 5
2. Increase Flag of Guinea Guinea (via draw)
3 0 3 0 3 3 0 3
3. Decrease Flag of Mali Mali (via draw)
3 0 3 0 3 3 0 3
4. Decrease Flag of Cameroon Cameroon 2 0 2 1 2 3 -1 2
Following a 1-1 draw between Guinea and Mali which meant they were tied on points, goals and goal difference; a draw had to be conducted to determine who will progress; Guinea was drawn first and therefore proceeded to the quarter-finals.

 

 

Group D Matches

Date Home Team Score Away Team Venue
07. 2015.01.20 Flag of Ivory Coast Ivory Coast 1-1 Flag of Guinea Guinea Estadio de Malabo, Malabo
08. 2015.01.20 Flag of Mali Mali 1-1 Flag of Cameroon Cameroon Estadio de Malabo, Malabo
15. 2015.01.24 Flag of Ivory Coast Ivory Coast 1-1 Flag of Mali Mali Estadio de Malabo, Malabo
16. 2015.01.24 Flag of Cameroon Cameroon
1-1 Flag of Guinea Guinea
Estadio de Malabo, Malabo
23. 2015.01.28 Flag of Cameroon Cameroon
0-1 Flag of Ivory Coast Ivory Coast Estadio de Malabo, Malabo
24. 2015.01.28 Flag of Guinea Guinea
1-1 Flag of Mali Mali Estadio de Mongomo, Mongomo

 

 

  • Group D Tiebreaker

The first and second round matches of Group D were played to 1-1 draws essentially leaving all four teams with an equal chance of progressing to the knockout stages subject to applicable permutations.

In the third round Ivory Coast defeated Cameroon 1-0 at Estadio de Malabo in Malabo and secured safe passage to the knockout stages.

In the match match played simultaneously to that Ivory Coast and Cameroon; Guinea and Mali played to a 1-1 draw and essentially became deadlocked after all  permutations were considered.

On January 29, 2015 the Confederation of African Football held a “draw of lots”, criteria number seven (7) – the last resort – on tiebreakers.

Guinea was drawn first and secured passage to the knockout stages as Group D runners-up behind group winners, Ivory Coast.

 

 

Knockout Stages

After the round robin of group stages is completed and all 24 matches have been played, top two ranked teams in each of the four groups will proceed to the last eight (8), the quarter-finals, and will participate in a single elimination matches.

In the knockout stages, if a match is level at the end of normal playing time, extra time shall be played (two periods of 15 minutes each) and followed, if necessary, by kicks from the penalty mark to determine the winner, except for the play-off for third place where no extra time shall be played.

 

 

Quarter-finals

Date Home Team Score Away Team Venue
25. 2015.01.31 The Flag of the Republic of Congo Congo 2-4 Flag_of_the_Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo Congo DR Estadio de Bata, Bata
26. 2015.01.31 Flag of Tunisia Tunisia 1-2_A.E.T. Flag of Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea Estadio de Bata, Bata
27. 2015.02.01 Flag_of_Ghana Ghana 3-0 Flag of Guinea Guinea Estadio de Malabo, Malabo
28. 2015.02.01 Flag of Ivory Coast Ivory Coast
3-1 Flag_of_Algeria Algeria
Estadio de Malabo, Malabo

Semi-finals

29. 2015.02.04 Flag_of_the_Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo Congo DR 1-3 Flag of Ivory Coast Ivory Coast Estadio de Bata, Bata
30. 2015.02.05 Flag_of_Ghana Ghana 3-0 Flag of Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea Estadio de Malabo, Malabo

Third Place Play-off

31. 2015.02.07 Flag_of_the_Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo Congo DR 0-0 [4-2]_Pen. Flag of Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea Estadio de Malabo, Malabo

Final

32. 2015.02.08 Flag of Ivory Coast Ivory Coast 0-0 [9-8]_Pen.
Flag_of_Ghana Ghana Estadio de Bata, Bata

 

 

 

Controversies

The 2015 Orange CAF African Cup of Nations saw three main controversies, the first of those being the Group D tiebreaker which saw Guinea and Mali having no say in their group stages fate after they were tied on everything.

The two nations were subjected to a drawing of lots; Guinea ended up on the positive side as they were drawn first and proceeded to the group stages while Mali wasn’t so lucky.

 

  • Tunisia vs Equatorial Guinea

The Tunisia vs Equatorial Guinea 2015 Orange CAF African Cup of Nations quarter-final match was marred with controversial and questionable refereeing which culminated in the host nation (Equatorial Guinea) progressing to semi-finals and the Tunisian players attempting to assault Rajindraparsad Seechurn, the Mauritian referee who was in charge of that match.

Rajindraparsad Seechurn awarded a controversial penalty to the host nation in injury time, which Javier Balboa converted to cancel out Ahmed Akaïchi’s 70th-minute goal and force the match to extra-time.

In the 102nd, now the match 12 minutes into a 30 minutes extra-time, Rajindraparsad Seechurn awarded Equatorial Guinea a free-kick which Javier Balboa also converted – the two goals proved enough for the host nation to march to the semi-finals.

After the final whistle the scuffles broke out between rival players, Tunisian players also made an attempt to get their hands on Rajindraparsad Seechurn as he was sped from the field by security officials.

Wadie Jary, the president of the Tunisian Football Federation, claimed that there was a bias against Tunisia following their controversial quarter-final defeat to Equatorial Guinea – his utterances resulted in him being banned from CAF competitions and activities.

The Tunisian Football Federation was fined $50,000 for confronting the referee during the match, in addition to damage to changing room facilities, while Equatorial Guinea was fined $5,000 for inadequate security at the stadium.

Rajindraparsad Seechurn was banned from officiating for six months and removed from CAF’s elite register of referees.

 

  • Ghana vs Equatorial Guinea

The Ghana vs Equatorial Guinea 2015 Orange CAF African Cup of Nations semi-final match saw the host nation overwhelmed by the much stronger Ghanaian side.

During the match several incidents occurred between the home fans, visiting fans and police.

At the half-time break with Ghana leading the game 2-0, the Ghanaian players were protected from hostile Equatorial Guinea fans by police using plastic shields.

In the 82nd minute in the second half, fans rushed onto the pitch and missiles were thrown at the Ghanaian substitute players.

The players moved onto the pitch to escape the missiles.

The travelling Ghanaian fans were also targets and took shelter near the goal of the pitch, out of the range of those throwing objects.

A helicopter was dispatched and used to disperse spectators out of the stadium by hovering at a low height above them.

The Ghanaian FA described the incident as being similar to a “war zone”.

Equatorial Guinea’s Police force had fired smoke bombs into the stands in an attempt to bring order.

The game was stopped for about 30 minutes, before recommencing for a few minutes.

The regulations for the competition state that the game should have been ended prematurely and that host association Equatorial Guinea “shall be eliminated from the competition”.

CAF imposed a US$100 000 fine on FEGUIFUT and were informed an ‘official match’ in Equatorial Guinea must be held ‘behind closed doors’ after the tournament’s completion.

arrow