AFRICA CUP QUALIFIERS 2017
14. June - 05. Sept. 2016
Region: Africa (CAF)
Number of teams: 16
Current Champion 2015: Ivory Coast
Most successful team: Egypt (7x titles)
Next African Cup of Nations 2017: Gabon
The 2017 Africa Cup of Nations is scheduled to be the 31st edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, the football championship of Africa (CAF).
The tournament was scheduled to be hosted by Libya, until CAF rescinded its hosting rights in August 2014 due to ongoing war in the country.
The tournament will instead be hosted by Gabon.
The 2017 African champion will qualify for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.
This event is also part of the Africa Cup of Nations 60th Anniversary.
The Africa Cup of Nations, is also referred to as the African Nations Cup (ANC) is the main international association football competition in Africa.
It is sanctioned by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), and was first held in 1957.
Since 1968, it has been held every two years.
The title holders at the time of a FIFA Confederations Cup qualify for that competition.
In 1957 there were only three participating nations: Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. South Africa were to compete, but were disqualified due to the apartheid policies of the goverment then in power.
Since then, the tournament has grown, making it necessary to hold a qualifying tournament.
The number of particpants in the final tournament reached 16 in 1998 (16 teams were to compete in 1996 but Nigeria withdrew, reducing the field to 15).
Since then the format has been unchanged, with the sixteen teams being drawn into four groups of four teams each, with the top two teams of each group advancing to a "knock out" stage.
Egypt is the most successful nation in the cup's history, winning the tournament with a record of seven times. Ghana and Cameroon have won four titles each.
Three different trophies have been awarded during the tournament's history, with Ghana and Cameroon winning the first two versions to keep after each of them won a tournament three times. The current trophy was first awarded in 2002.