CHAN 2016: All you need to know about the African Nations Championship

The African Nations Championship, sometimes referred to as CHAN, will be hosted in Rwanda between January 16 and February 7, 2016.

Nigeria will be participating at the biennial tournament for the second time after a third place finish in South Africa in 2014.

Here is a summary of what you should know about the continents biggest football event for domestic players.


The competition was designed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for the men’s national teams of Africa featuring exclusively players from their respective national leagues.

Expatriate players, regardless of where they play, even in Africa, are not qualified to take part in the African Championship of Nations.


The idea was born out of the desire to revive or strengthen national competitions regularly weakened by a mass exodus of top players who leave their home countries to play for foreign teams which will pay more and get them more media coverage

“We strive to give to the local African players the possibility to showcase their talents and abilities, but also to bring to a higher level the national championships in Africa, and to boost their importance,” CAF president, Issa Hayatou, said in 2007 while announcing the concept of the showpiece.


The first edition was hosted by Cote d’Ivoire in 2009 and won by the Democratic Republic of Congo.

North African nations, Tunisia and Libya, proved their dominance on the continent by winning the last two editions in 2011 and 2014.

Qualified teams/groups

While defending champions, Libya, failed to make to the competition, all other country apart from Guinea are making multiple appearances at the event.

Group A consist of host Rwanda, Gabon, Morocco and Cote d’Ivoire.

DR Congo, Ethiopia, Angola and Cameroon makeup Group B.

Nigeria alongside Niger and Guinea joins top seed, Tunisia, in Group C.

The final group, D, has Zimbabwe, Mali, Zambia and Uganda.


Four stadiums were approved to host games at the fourth edition of CHAN in Rwanda. They include: Amahoro Stadium and Stade Régional Nyamirambo both in Kigali, Stade Huye in Butare and finally the Umuganda Stadium, Gisenyi.