5 most successful teams in CHAN history

John Dennis

The African Nations Championships, commonly called CHAN, started in 2008 in Ivory Coast. Only eight teams participated in the inaugural CHAN tournament, but the number has since been expanded to 16.

Since its inception, only five teams have won the trophy. DR Congo and Morocco are the only national teams to win CHAN twice.

On the other hand, other teams like Ghana and Mali have reached the CHAN finals twice without winning a trophy. Also, Sudan is the only country that has finished in the third spot twice.

The CHAN tournament aims to promote African players playing in Africa and recognise their respective national leagues.

But which national teams have been successful CHAN winners?

1. DR Congo

DR. Congo is one of the most successful teams in CHAN.
DR. Congo is the most successful team in CHAN
  • Winners: 2 (2009, 2016)
  • Second Place: Never Finished Second
  • Third Place: Never Finished Third
  • Fourth Place: Never Finished Fourth

DR Congo won the inaugural CHAN tournament in 2009. The Leopards defeated Ghana 2-0 at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

DR Congo also reached the CHAN finals in 2016 and lifted the trophy for the second time in the competition’s history. The win came after beating Mali 3-0 at the Amahoro Stadium in Kigali, Rwanda.

The second win in 2016 made DR Congo the most successful team in CHAN history. Some of the best DR Congo players that emerged from the competition are Elia Meschak, Ley Matampi, and Tresor Mputu.

2. Morocco

Morocco players celebrating a win
  • Winners: 2 (2018, 2020)
  • Second Place: Never Finished Second
  • Third Place: Never Finished Third
  • Fourth Place: Never Finished Fourth
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Morocco became CHAN champions for the first time in the competition’s history in 2018. The Atlas Lions hosted the competition in 2018 and defeated Nigeria 4-0.

In 2020, Morocco won the tournament a second time after defeating Mali 2-0 in Cameroon. The second win made Morocco the only African team to win back-to-back CHAN titles.

During the 2018 CHAN edition, Morocco’s Ayoub El Kaabi was the competition’s top scorer with nine goals. In 2020, the best Moroccan players were Soufiane Rahimi and Morocco Anas Zniti.

3. Libya

Libya national team Lineup
  • Winners: 1 (2014)
  • Second Place: Never Finished Second
  • Third Place: Never Finished Third
  • Fourth Place: 1 (2018)

Libya won the third edition of the CHAN competition in 2014. The Mediterranean Knights qualified automatically for the competition and reached the finals at the Cape Town Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa.

Libya defeated Ghana 4-3 on penalties to lift the country’s first-ever CHAN competition. During the 2018 CHAN tournament in Morocco, Libya finished fourth after losing 2-4 to Sudan through penalties.

The best Libyan players to emerge from the CHAN tournament are Abdelsalam Elfaitory, Abdelrahman Ramadan Fetori, and Salem Ablo.

4. Senegal

Senegal team lineups
  • Winners: 1 (2022)
  • Second Place: Never Finished Second
  • Third Place: Never Finished Third
  • Fourth Place: 1 (2009)

Senegal makes this list of CHAN winners as the 2022 champions. The Lions of Teranga won the country’s first-ever CHAN title in 2022 in Algeria.

Senegal defeated the hosts Algeria through penalties (5-4) at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Baraki, Algers. In 2009, Senegal finished fourth during the inaugural 2009 CHAN tournament in Ivory Coast.

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In 2022, Senegal received the fair play award. However, Pape Mamadou Sy was the best goalkeeper in the competition.

5. Tunisia

Tunisia national football team line up
  • Winners: 1 (2011)
  • Second Place: Never Finished Second
  • Third Place: Never Finished Third
  • Fourth Place: Never Finished Fourth

Tunisia won the CHAN trophy for the first time in 2011. The Carthage Eagles participated in the second edition of the competition in Sudan.

During the 2011 finals, Tunisia defeated Angola 3-0 in regular time. Since then, Tunisia has struggled to surpass the CHAN tournament’s quarterfinals.

When Tunisia won the title in 2011, Zouheir Dhaouadi and Salema Gasdaoui were the competition’s top scorers with three goals each. However, Zouheir Dhaouadi was the tournament’s best player.

CHAN only allows African players in African leagues to participate in the competition. But has the championship lived up to the expectation of promoting players playing in local leagues?

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