AFCON trophy: What is the worth of Africa’s most prestigious piece of silverware?

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FOOTBALL AFCON trophy: What is the worth of Africa’s most prestigious piece of silverware?

Joel Omotto 07:32 - 08.02.2024

Pulse Sports delves into the cost and history of the Africa Cup of Nations trophy with Nigeria and Ivory Coast vying to lay their hands on it this weekend.

Nigeria and hosts Ivory Coast are the two teams remaining at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with the final set to take place on Sunday 11 February.

The Super Eagles edged Bafana Bafana in the first semi-final before the Elephants eliminated the Leopards for a place in Sunday’s final when the AFCON trophy will be awarded.

AFCON is more than just a football tournament; it is a celebration of the sport’s spirit, uniting nations across the continent and amidst the fervour surrounding the competition, many have always wanted to know how much the trophy is worth.

Most nations have never placed a price on the AFCON trophy due to its unique composition and the intangible factors that contribute to its worth such as cultural significance, historical importance, and the emotions it evokes.

Besides, winning teams are already guaranteed a huge amount in prize money with this year’s winners set to pocket $7 million (Ksh1.1 billion), a 40 percent increase from the previous edition, while $4 million (Ksh642 million) will go to the second-placed team. All four semi-finalists are guaranteed $2.5 million (Ksh402 million) by virtue of reaching the last four.

However, the question still remains, how much is the AFCON trophy worth? According to estimates, the AFCON trophy is worth around $138,442 (Ksh22,219,941), making it one of the most expensive in the world of football although the likes of FIFA World Cup trophy ($20 million), FA Cup ($1 million) and Ballon d’Or trophy ($600,000) dwarfs it.

The current version was first awarded in 2002 and is a gold-plated cup designed and made in Italy. It was first awarded to Cameroon when they won the 2002 edition of the tournament.

The original trophy, made of silver, was the Abdelaziz Abdallah Salem Trophy, named after the first CAF president, Egyptian Abdelaziz Abdallah Salem.

As the first winner of three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, Ghana obtained the right to permanently hold the trophy in 1978.

The second trophy was awarded from 1980 to 2000, and was named “Trophy of African Unity” or “African Unity Cup”. It was given to CAF by the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa prior to the 1980 tournament and it was a cylindrical piece with the Olympic rings over a map of the continent engraved on it.

It sat on a squared base and had stylised triangular handles. Cameroon won the Unity Cup indefinitely after they became three-time champions in 2000.

However, when Egypt won the current version three times in a row (2006, 2008 and 2010), they were presented with a special full-size replica that they were allowed to keep. First and second time winners usually get a smaller sized replica for their trophy cabinets.

The Pharaohs remain the most successful nation on the continent with seven titles followed Cameroon, who have five, while Ghana won four.

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