Friday Jun 16, 2017. 10:00
AfricanFootball looks back at the continent’s history at the FIFA Confederations Cup through the years, with Cameroon set to mark their return to the competition this weekend.
Ivory Coast were CAF’s representatives at the first King Fahd Cup in 1992, where the Elephants suffered heavy defeats at the hands of Argentina and USA, while Nigeria were unlucky at the 1995 edition when they went unbeaten against Japan, Argentina and Mexico but still only finished fourth.
When the King Fahd Cup was rebranded the Confederations Cup, South Africa made their debut in Saudi Arabia in 1997. Bafana Bafana were entertaining to watch, but ultimately outclassed as they exited in the group phase after losses to the UAE and Uruguay.
Similar group stage exits for Egypt and Cameroon followed in 1999 and 2001 respectively, but in 2003 the Indomitable Lions represented the continent with pride.
Winfried Schafer’s team, led by the likes of Rigobert Song, Geremi and Samuel Eto’o ended as runners-up to France, but their wonderful showing in the tournament was overshadowed by the tragic death of midfielder Marc Vivien Foe, who collapsed on the pitch in the semifinal win over Colombia.
Tunisia made little impact at the 2005 edition in Germany, while four years later the tournament was held on African soil and featured two teams from the continent: hosts South Africa and Egypt.
While the Pharaohs exited in the group stage, they still made waves with a somewhat unlucky 4-3 loss to Brazil in one of the Confed Cup’s greatest-ever matches and a stunning 1-0 win over 2006 World Cup champions Italy.
The hosts fared better, progressing into the semifinals despite being held 0-0 by Iraq in their opener and suffering a 2-0 loss to Spain, who would go on to win the World Cup the following year.
Bafana Bafana then put up a brave showing against Brazil in the semifinal, but a last-gasp free kick from Dani Alves saw the South Americans progress at their expense.
The last Confederations Cup in Brazil four years ago featured a 6-1 win for Nigeria over Tahiti (Africa’s biggest victory at the tournament), but the Super Eagles were unable to advance from their group after losses to Uruguay and Spain.
Overall, African teams have played 33 matches at the Confederations Cup, recording nine wins, seven losses and 17 defeats.
Africa at the Confederations Cup
1992 King Fahd Cup, Saudi Arabia - Ivory Coast
Semifinal: Argentina 4-0 Ivory Coast
Third place playoff: USA 5-2 Ivory Coast
P2 W0 D0 L2 GF2 GA9
1995 King Fahd Cup, Saudi Arabia - Nigeria
Group stage: Japan 0-3 Nigeria
Group stage: Nigeria 0-0 Argentina
Third place playoff: Mexico 1-1 Nigeria - Mexico won 5-4 on penalties
P3 W1 D2 L0 GF4 GA1
1997 Confederations Cup, Saudi Arabia - South Africa
Group stage: South Africa 2-2 Czech Republic
Group stage: UAE 1-0 South Africa
Group stage: Uruguay 4-3 South Africa
P3 W0 D1 L2 GF5 GA7
1999 Confederations Cup, Mexico - Egypt
Group stage: Bolivia 2-2 Egypt
Group stage: Mexico 2-2 Egypt
Group stage: Egypt 1-5 Saudi Arabia
P3 W0 D2 L1 GF5 GA9
2001 Confederations Cup, South Korea - Cameroon
Group stage: Brazil 2-0 Cameroon
Group stage: Cameroon 0-2 Japan
Group stage: Cameroon 2-0 Canada
P3 W1 D0 L2 GF2 GA4
2003 Confederations Cup, France - Cameroon
Group stage: Brazil 0-1 Cameroon
Group stage: Cameroon 1-0 Turkey
Group stage: USA 0-0 Cameroon
Semifinal: Cameroon 1-0 Colombia
Final: Cameroon 0-1 France
P5 W3 D1 L1 GF3 GA1
2005 Confederations Cup, Germany - Tunisia
Group stage: Argentina 2-1 Tunisia
Group stage: Tunisia 0-3 Germany
Group stage: Australia 0-2 Tunisia
P3 W1 D0 L2 GF3 GA5
2009 Confederations Cup, South Africa - South Africa & Egypt
Group stage: Brazil 4-3 Egypt
Group stage: Egypt 1-0 Italy
Group stage: Egypt 0-3 USA
Group stage: South Africa 0-0 Iraq
Group stage: South Africa 2-0 New Zealand
Group stage: Spain 2-0 South Africa
Semifinal: Brazil 1-0 South Africa
Third place playoff: Spain 3-2 South Africa
Egypt - P3 W1 D0 L2 GF4 GA7
SA - P5 W1 D1 L3 GF4 GA6
2013 Confederations Cup, Brazil - Nigeria
Group stage: Tahiti 1-6 Nigeria
Group stage: Nigeria 1-2 Uruguay
Group stage: Nigeria 0-3 Spain
P3 W1 D0 L2 GF7 GA6
Africa’s combined record at the Confederations Cup
P33 W9 D7 L17 GF38 GA55