In the history of the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations, the unity of siblings playing together has added a unique flavor to the tournament.
As the 34th edition of Africa’s biggest football event draws near, a remarkable story unfolds, showcasing brotherly bonds that transcend the pitch.
The Hassan brothers of Egypt have set an unparalleled record, lifting the prestigious title twice together in 1986 and 1998. Their feat remains unmatched, symbolizing not just their skill but the profound connection they share on and off the field.
Another pair of siblings, the Toure brothers from Cote d’Ivoire, have been frequent figures in the tournament. Kolo and Yaya Toure have played in six AFCON tournaments together, a testament to their enduring careers and mutual support. Their crowning moment came in 2015, marking a pinnacle in their shared journey.
Ghana’s André and Jordan Ayew, sons of the legendary Abedi Pelé, are set to make their mark in the 2023 tournament. Their previous attempts, especially the near-victory in 2015, highlight the grit and determination inherent in their familial bond.
The Biyik brothers from Cameroon, André Kana and François Omam, brought different skills to the field, yet their harmony was evident in three AFCON competitions they played together. François’s memorable 1990 World Cup goal against Argentina underlines the brothers’ impact on a global scale.
In a similar vein, the story of the Zambian Katongo brothers, Christopher and Felix, who led their nation to its first AFCON title in 2012, resonates with the power of sibling synergy. Their achievement was preluded by the Malitoli brothers, Kenneth and Mordon, who were the first Zambian siblings in the competition.
Ethiopia’s Italo and Luciano Vassalo made history in 1962, becoming the first brothers to play together in AFCON, with Luciano earning the title of the competition’s best player. Their legacy is a reminder of the tournament’s rich history and its ability to bring families together in the spirit of competition.
The 2023 edition introduces a new chapter with the Mauritanian quartet of Nouh Mohamed El Abd, Sidi Ahmed Mohamed El Abd, Lamine Ba, and El Hadji Ba. The four brothers, including two sets of siblings, represent a rare occurrence in the tournament’s annals and embody the familial spirit that AFCON often brings to the fore.
Albert Bwanga and Robert Kazadi, who represented DR Congo in 1974, are among the six sibling pairs who have won the AFCON, adding to the lore of brotherly pairs in the tournament.
Other notable mentions include Ghana’s Asamoah and Baffour Gyan, and the Kingston brothers in 2008, Zimbabwe’s Peter and Adam Ndlovu in 2004, Benin’s Tchomogo Oumar and Seidath, and the Tunisian Sellimi brothers, Samir and Adel, in 1994.
The AFCON tournament not only showcases the best of African football but also highlights the unique stories of brotherhood that enrich the sport. These siblings, playing together for their national teams, embody not just athletic prowess but also the unbreakable bonds of family. As the tournament progresses, their stories will continue to inspire and remind us of the powerful connection between siblings, a bond that transcends even the competitive spirit of international football.