|The African Cup of Nations is the main international football competition for CAF nations. It has been held every two years since 1968, and before that was held at irregular intervals.|
In the first African Cup of Nations in 1957, there were only three participating nations: Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. Since then the field has grown to include almost every African nation, thus making it necessary to hold a qualifying tournament. The number of participants in the final tournament reached 16 in 1998.