This afternoon will mark the commencement of the fourth edition of the Africa Nations Championships (CHAN) being held in the central-east African country of Rwanda.
As the name suggests, it is only open to players who play their trade on the African continent and is held on even-numbered years, alternating with the more high profile Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
The biennial tournament was first considered by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in September 2007 but the first real tournament was held in 2009 in Ivory Coast and was won by DR Congo, who defeated Ghana 2-0 in the final. It featured just eight teams and was staged across two venues in Abidjan and Bouake.
The tournament expanded to 16 teams for its second edition in 2011 and saw Tunisia romp Angola 3-0 to lift the title in Sudan.
Unexpectedly, the competition didn’t hold in 2013 but was staged only a year later in 2014 with the aim of swapping the AFCON to odd-numbered years so that their main competition was not staged in the same years as the World Cup.
Nonetheless, South Africa hosted the 2014 edition which saw Libya emerge as surprise winners after going on to beat Ghana on penalties; a lift which the crises-saddled country reveled in
The 2016 edition is the first CHAN tournament staged in East Africa, with Kenya and Ethiopia to host the 2018 and 2020 editions respectively.
Host nation Rwanda will play the first match of the tournament against Ivory Coast from 3pm, followed by Gabon vs Morocco at 6pm.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia battles DR Congo on Sunday at 3pm followed by Angola vs Cameroon at 6pm.