Spectacular disappearance of an original African Cup of Nations trophy in Egypt

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An investigation was launched by the Egyptian Football Federation (EFA) after discovering that several trophies had disappeared from its headquarters in Cairo, among which was said to be an original Africa Cup of Nations.

Egypt received the award after winning the 2010 tournament for the third time.

This trophy was first competed in 2002 after Cameroon received the previous cup (the trophy with triangular sleeves) after winning it for the third time in 2000, was awarded after the Egyptian triumphs in 2006 , 2008 and 2010.

The EFA said on Friday it had opened an investigation into the loss of various trophies.

"While the Egyptian federation is in the process of fitting out its main headquarters, including changing the entrance to a small Egyptian football museum, the management has been shocked by the disappearance of some old trophies from the reserve," said the EFA in a press release.

A former EFA vice-president claimed the 2010 trophy was part of the missing lot.

“EFA was surprised to find that the CAN trophy had been lost and decided to open an investigation,” Ahmed Shobier told an Egyptian football website. “Nobody knows where the trophy is”.

After the attack on EFA headquarters in 2013, various trophies - including the Nations Cup - were moved to a reserve.

However, local officials only looked for them recently, after the decision to renovate the entrance to EFA so that Egypt's multiple football cups could be on display there.

In 2013, the EFA was stormed by angry fans during the violence in Cairo, and investigators are trying to determine if that is when the trophies were taken.

"The EFA is currently investigating the disappearance of the trophies to determine if these old trophies were saved after the building was burnt ... or if they were lost when the building was exposed in this incident," added FA.

The old style of the Africa Cup of Nations trophyImage CopyrightGALLO IMAGES
Image captionThe previous version of the Nations Cup trophy was awarded to Cameroon in 2000

The rules of the African Football Confederation (CAF) state that a team which wins the African Cup of Nations trophy three times in a particular style can keep it.

Ghana were the first team to win the trophy three times, in 1978, while Cameroon went on to receive the second version of the Africa Cup of Nations trophy after becoming the first country to win it three times.

Under CAF rules, teams that win the Nations Cup receive a replica of the trophy permanently. They are authorized to keep the trophy for the two years which separate the two tournaments before returning it.

The current trophy, still styled in the same style as Egypt won, is in the hands of Algeria, which won the last Nations Cup title (in Cairo) last year.

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