• 60 per cent of the 629 players present at this competition play in European leagues. 26 per cent on African soil, 12 per cent in Asian clubs and one per cent in Latin America, America and Oceania. The average age of players in the competition is around 28 years old.
• Cape Verde presents itself as the oldest with an average age of 28 while Gambia (25) and Cote d’Ivoire (+/- 26) have the least average ages.
The CAF Technical Study Group says this year’s Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire has exceeded expectations on the field.
The preliminary, last 16 and quarterfinal stages saw a total of 48 matches played, allowing for comprehensive data to be collected and analysed by a team of experts comprising of data analysts, technical directors, former footballers and coaches.
“We are experiencing a wonderful competition. This Afcon is the best in history in so many aspects,” said CAF Director of Technical and Development Raul Chipenda.
“The gap between the so-called small and big teams has been substantially reduced. The coaches are displaying good quality in how they read the game before, during and after. Teams are tactically disciplined in different formations which shows the evolution of the African game. This tournament has over-delivered, it has exceeded expectations.”
At the end of the quarter-finals, 113 goals were scored against the 100 goals recorded throughout the previous edition in Cameroon.
None of the eight teams present at the quarter-final stage in the last edition reached this stage of the competition this year. 65 per cent of coaches chose the 4-3-3 playing system. A flexible system varying from offensive to defensive. The TSG notes that the teams are well organised, depending on the systems put in place and the different blocks.
Eight teams present in the quarter-finals are those having made the greatest number of substitutions: 26 for Mali and Cote d’Ivoire, 25 for Cape Verde, 24 for Angola; 22 for Nigeria and Guinea and 21 for the Democratic Republic of Congo.
60 per cent of the 629 players present at this competition play in European leagues. 26 per cent on African soil, 12 per cent in Asian clubs and one per cent in Latin America, America and Oceania. The average age of players in the competition is around 28 years old.
Cape Verde presents itself as the oldest with an average age of 28 while Gambia (25) and Cote d’Ivoire (+/- 26) have the least average ages.
Another interesting aspect was the cooling breaks taking place due to the soaring temperatures and humid conditions in Cote d’Ivoire.
“When coming to Cote d’Ivoire, one of the worries was heat and humidity. More or less, all venues are in same altitude. We have clear criteria for when temperatures are above 28 degrees where we implement cooling breaks which can be one in each half."
"Ahead of the matches, we measured temperatures and humidity data during the kick-off times which were 1400hrs, 1700hrs and 2000hrs to measure how these impacted the players’ performance."
"We have a clear understanding of what it takes to stage such a competition in Africa, and all this was taken into account during the planning stages to ensure that players perform at their absolute best,” said Chipenda.
He called for continued investment in football development by African countries, adding that if all countries played an active role in investing in development, African football would grow even stronger and Africa would produce world-class players without relying too much on players abroad.