February 10th, 2012
07:45 PM ET

Best of Africa? Ivory Coast and Zambia clash in final

Ivory Coast and Zambia will be trying to get their hands on the Africa Cup of Nations trophy.
Ivory Coast and Zambia will be trying to get their hands on the Africa Cup of Nations trophy.

Sunday sees the final of the Africa Cup of Nations between the Ivory Coast and Zambia and I can’t wait to see these two great sides battle for the trophy.

Ivory Coast were my pre-tournament tips to come out on top, but I always believed Zambia would be tough to beat so their appearance in the final is no surprise to me.

Many people are labeling them as underdogs, but I don’t believe that to be the case. They are a tough and well-disciplined side and Frenchman Herve Renard must take his share of credit. FULL POST

January 27th, 2012
11:14 AM ET

Expect more shocks at African Cup of Nations

David Alvarez scored the goal which sent Equatorial Guinea through and Senegal crashing out. (Getty Images)
David Alvarez scored the goal which sent Equatorial Guinea through and Senegal crashing out. (Getty Images)

The African Cup of Nations is coming to the end of its first week and, as I predicted before the start of the tournament, there have already been massive shocks and they are set to continue.

I’m delighted for Equatorial Guinea. Their victory over one of the favorites, Senegal, was a stunning result for a nation of just over 700,000 people and ranked 151st in the world.

They kept to a strict game plan and were rewarded with a 2-1 victory which eliminated Senegal, who will be going home after their final group game. FULL POST

January 23rd, 2012
12:48 PM ET

Why football is Africa's religion

Fulham midfielder Dickson Etuhu has represented Nigeria at the highest level. (Getty Images)
Fulham midfielder Dickson Etuhu has represented Nigeria at the highest level. (Getty Images)

I'm passionate about the African Cup of Nations. I've played in it twice for Nigeria and it's the most amazing experience I have had in football, even better than the World Cup and the English Premier League where I play for Fulham.

In Africa, football really is like a religion. It unites people of all backgrounds, it brings them together in common cause, and victory in the Cup of Nations is considered the pinnacle of achievement.

But for some countries, like Libya, just getting to the finals is an incredible achievement. I'll certainly be looking out for them in this tournament and I'm really hoping they can qualify out of their group. I understand that some of their players were at the sharp end of the turmoil, even taking part in the fighting, as Gadhafi was toppled from power. FULL POST