Every so often, a sports event comes along that means more than just the sport. The Olympics is one example, where hundreds of countries come together to celebrate the spirit of sports and unity. The Africa Cup Of Nations, a fierce football tournament held in Africa, is another. Started in 1956, it was intended to be a continental tournament between four countries (Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Africa) and has now grown into a tournament of 16 countries in the continent.
In a continent with many challenges, ranging from political and civil wars to poverty and corruption, this is one of the few events that brings all the African countries together. After Ghana gained independence from the British, its rst president wholly supported the football team. The team won the Cup in 1963, bringing great pride to the country. The sport is also symbolic of racial diversity — South Africa was disqualified for choosing only white players in 1957, but its racially mixed team in the 1990s proved the power of unity when it won the Cup. This year, the Ivory Coast team is a hot favorite, but underdog teams such as Zimbabwe are catching spectators by surprise!