Since its first official inception in 1991, there have only been three winners of the Women’s African Cup of Nations. The inaugural competition of the Women’s AFCON came about as a direct reaction to FIFA officially creating the Women’s World Cup, also in 1991.
It was the Confederation of African Football that conceptualised the tournament and then later made it a reality under the name ‘Africa Women’s Championship’ in the early nineties. The functionality behind the competition was to initially serve as World Cup qualifying, mirroring the men’s version of the competition.
It was far from a smooth process though as a host of nations removed their teams from the first two competitions in 1991 and 1995. This was due to a reported lack of facilities and resources the varying federations made available for their women’s sides.
The CAF was reactive to this though and reformatted the competition to include qualifying rounds and a group stage and renamed the competition to the well-known WAFCON title it now holds.
Nigeria continue to dominate in Africa
Despite an impressive 30 teams having competed in the WAFCON since its inception, only three teams have ever taken the trophy home with them. South Africa won the 2022 tournament defeating host nation Morocco 2-1. Equatorial Guinea are the tournament’s second most successful side having won two titles in 2008 and 2012 respectively.
It is Nigeria though who have the most WAFCON titles with a dominant 11 successful tournaments. More impressively, Nigeria won the first seven instances of the WAFCON consecutively from 1991-2006. Even more impressive is Nigeria’s record of never finishing below fourth in the competition, which in itself has only happened twice.
Who could stop the Super Falcons’ dominance in Women’s AFCON?
In a further example of their dominance, Nigeria have a relentless goal-scoring record. If you were to calculate the goal difference the Super Falcons have amassed during their entirety within the WAFCON, it would stand at an impressive +191. In fact, the West African nation has only conceded 32 goals in the tournament’s history.
In contrast, South Africa — who won the 2022 WAFCON — have an overall goal difference of +19, second only to Nigeria. The Banyana Banyana side are now seen by many as Nigeria’s biggest rival in the WAFCON, despite only recently winning their first title.