African Games: Who Won Football Gold in Previous Editions Between 1965 and 2019?

African Games: Who Won Football Gold in Previous Editions Between 1965 and 2019?

Jarryd Westerdale
March 19, 2024 at 8:32 AM
In this article:
Cameroon U20 logo
Cameroon U20
Cameroon U23 logo
Cameroon U23
Nigeria U20 logo
Nigeria U20
CAF African Games logo
CAF African Games
  • The African Games has seen nine different footballing gold medalists since 1965
  • Cameroon have won the competition the most with four wins from four finals
  • Ghana are aiming to be the first hosts since Algeria in 1978 to win gold

The 13th African Games' men's football tournament is down to the final four.

Uganda play Congo in the first semi-final, before Senegal looks to stop hosts Ghana from qualifying for the final on home soil.

Since its inception, the tournament has remained an eight-team competition featuring the winners of seven regional qualifiers, as well as the hosts.

Cameroon, African Games, 2007, gold medals, 1965, 2019, previous winners.
Cameroon won their fourth football gold medal at the 2007 African Games with Ene Edet Otudor Otobong scoring in the final against Guinea. Photo: Fethi Belaid.
Source: Getty Images

Sports Brief looks back at the previous winners of the gold medal at Africa's premier multisport festival.

Previous Men's African Games football gold medalists

1965: Congo 0-0 Mali

Before the penalty shootout, some methods used as tiebreakers would confound modern audiences. Italy once beat the Soviet Union by coin toss in the 1968 European Championships semi-finals, but 1965 in Brazzaville tops that.

Congo played Mali in the final of the first African Games football tournament, which ended goalless after extra time. The winner was then decided by corner kicks, with Congo winning 7-2 on dead-ball restarts, as per RSSSF.

1973: Nigeria 2-0 Guinea

1978: Algeria 1-0 Nigeria

1987: Egypt 1-0 Kenya

1991: Cameroon 1-0 Tunisia

1991 in Egypt was the first year the competition shifted to restricting the competition to U23 teams. This would also be the first time the competition would follow the quadrennial cycle.

Cameroon won the competition for the first time and to date, have the joint most appearances in the final, with four. They sit alongside Nigeria, who have one gold medal and three silvers.

1995: Egypt 3-1 Zimbabwe

1999: Cameroon 0(4)-(3)0 Zambia

2003: Cameroon 2-0 Nigeria

2007: Cameroon 1-0 Guinea

No team has gone back-to-back at the African Games, except Cameroon, who went one better by completing a hat trick in 2007.

Across the three tournaments, the U23 Indomitable Lions were undefeated, winning 12 matches and drawing three. This included four wins over Zambia, most notably the 1999 final on penalties.

2011: Ghana 1(4)-(2)1 South Africa

2015: Senegal 1-0 Burkina Faso

2019: Burkina Faso 2-0 Nigeria

In 2019, the age threshold was once again lowered, this time showcasing the U20s. Burkina Faso had made the previous final and Nigeria were aiming to end a 46-year wait for gold.

Two Burkina Faso goals in six first-half minutes from Cheick Djibrik Ouattara and Ismaila Ouedraogo ended the Flying Eagles' hopes, as per PremiumTimes Nigeria.

Ladan Bosso laments Flying Eagles' exit

Sports Brief recently reported on Bosso's reaction to the Flying Eagles' exit from the 13th African Games.

Nigeria's U20s crashed out of the competition following their failure to advance from the group stage.

They missed out on the semi-finals after a 3-2 loss to Senegal in their final group match in Accra.

Jarryd Westerdale photo
Jarryd Westerdale
Jarryd Westerdale (based in Johannesburg) joined Sports Brief after four years in the community journalism sphere. He is a two-time Alet Roux Award winner and was a finalist in multiple categories at the Forum of Community Journalism Excellence Awards.