Mamelodi Sundowns are the team with the most number of players at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament which commences on Saturday, January 13 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The six-time South Africa Premier League defending champs have ten players in the Bafana Bafana squad that has been drawn to play in group E of the continental showpiece which ends on February 10. The 1996 winners begin their campaign against Mali on Tuesday, January 16.
French Ligue One giants Olympique Marseille are the European team with most representatives at seven. Senegal trio Illiman Ndiaye, Ismaila Sarr and Pape Gueye have been joined in Ivory Coast by Moroccans Azzedine Ounahi and Amine Harit together with Cameroon’s Simon Ngapa and Francois Regis Mughe. The number could have been eight but for Gabon’s failure to qualify hence the absence of former African footballer of the year Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.
Nottingham Forest are the English Premier League side with the most reps at six. Ivorians Serge Aurier, Wily Boly and Ibrahim Sangare are joined by Senegal pair Moussa Niakhate and Cheikhou Kouyate, as well as Nigerian Ola Aina. They could have matched Marseille but for an injury that’s ruled out Nigerian Taiwo Awoniyi.
Seven time AFCON winners Egypt are the team with the most number of home based players in their squad. For the first time ever, it is Pyramids FC, rather than record Caf Champions League winners Al Ahly that have sent more players to tournament. While Marcel Koller’s reigning club titlists have seven players in the Pharaohs squad, Pyramids have six players set to feature for the north Africans plus two sub Saharan Africans – DR Congo’s Fiston Mayele and Burkina Faso’s Blati Toure.
In a sign of their growing influence on the continent, Tanzanian giants Simba and Young Africans both have six reps at the tournament slated to begin on January 13 at the Alassane Ouatarra Stadium in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Each of the two sides has four reps in the Taifa Stars side drawn to play DR Congo, Morocco and Zambia. Zambians Kenneth Musonda (Yanga) and Clatous Chama (Simba) will face their club mates in group F as will DR Congo’s Henock Inonga.