January 2006, the 25th African Cup of Nations was held in Egypt, this would be the 4th time the Egyptians had hosted the tournament with games to be played in Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said and Ismailia. The schedule meant I would very quickly become familiar with travelling between these cities.
The top two teams in the qualifying groups were to compete in the ACN whilst the winners of the groups also qualified for the World Cup to be held in Germany in June. There had been a few shocks along the way. Cameroon, Senegal and Nigeria missed out on World Cup qualification, and were eager for revenge. The competition featured 3 teams that were to make their World Cup debut later that year – Ghana, Togo and Angola.
The tournament also gave me my first taste of Africa and Islam!