CAN 2017

CAN 2017

1. It’s 60 years since the first-ever Africa Cup of Nations (CAN). There will be more glitz and more teams taking part. But the will to win will be the same as when Egypt won that first all-Africa tournament. 10 February will mark 60 years since Egypt and Sudan played the opening match at the inaugural CAN in Sudan. A few days after that first game, Mohamed Diab Al-Attar, better known as Ad-Diba, scored all four goals as Egypt thrashed Ethiopia to win the first of their seven titles.
2. The trophy presentation ceremony at the Municipal Stadium in Khartoum was standard fare for the times – handshakes, embraces, the distribution of medals and laps of honour.
Those elements still feature decades on in post-match celebrations but the victorious team on 5th February in Libreville will be blasted by music from a weapons-grade sound system and a firework display explosive enough to freak out the hawks in the Pentagon and Kremlin.
3. What remains unchanged though is the fervour to win a Cup of Nations medal.
Back in the early 1960’s only six teams appeared at the event. The tournament was expanded to eight teams for the 1968 competition in Ethiopia. The number rose to 12 in 1992 in Senegal and since 1996, it‘s been a 16-side format.
4. The Cup of Nations’ preceded UEFA’s (Union of European Football Associations) European championships by three years. Yet the younger brother moved to a 24-team structure for the EURO 2016 in France. That was estimated to have raked in 1.2 billion euros in tourism and spending related to the event. Gabon 2017 is unlikely to harvest anywhere near that amount but the sums underscore the potential that can be wrung from the sport. Top executives at the Confederation of African Football (CAF), which organises the Cup of Nations, can only look on in envy at the seemingly relentless acquisitiveness of their counterparts at FIFA, world football’s governing body. Just four days before the opening match in Libreville, the FIFA council agreed to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams from 2026 onwards. It’s a far cry from the 13-nation event of 1930 in Uruguay.
5. “The Africa Cup of Nations is a great tradition. I would call it a Pan-African institution unlike any other especially because the culture of football is unlike any other passion,” says Peter Alegi, professor of African history at Michigan State University and author of several books on football in Africa. “Politically it’s also important to prove that Africans can organise these major events. But if you could bring roughly half of CAF’s 55 members to a tournament, that wouldn’t necessarily add matches to an already crowded calendar.”
Expansion would make it difficult for most nations to host the tournament, He points out.
“You’d be looking at a handful of countries being able to host it on rotation – probably with South Africa and several of the north African nations being in pole position.”

A. Answer these questions from the text?

  1. Who played the first match in the African football ceremony?
  2. Where did the 1st CAN take place?
  3. Why CAN is important for Africans?

B. Complete these sentences from the text

  1. The first Cup of African Nations took place…………………………………ago.
  2. During the early 1960’s…………………………………………………………..
  3. Starting from 2026, FIFA………………………………………………………………….

C. Are these sentences True or False? Justify from the text?

  1. Ethiopia was the first African country to win The CAN title.
  2. UEFA’s European championship is older than CAN.
  3. The growth of the number of countries participating in CAN, make it tough to organise such ceremony.

D. What do the underlined words in the text refer to?

  1. Those (paragraph 2): …………………………
  2. It (paragraph 3): …………………………
  3. He (paragraph 5): …………………………

E. Find in the text words which almost mean the same as

  1. Competition (paragraph 1): …………………………
  2. Winning (paragraph 2): …………………………
  3. Eagerness (paragraph 3): …………………………
  4. Expected (paragraph 4): …………………………

F. Find in the text words which are almost opposite to

  1. to defeat (paragraph 1): …………………………
  2. Affected (paragraph 3): …………………………
  3. Followed (paragraph 4): …………………………
  4. Uncertainly (paragraph 5): …………………………

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