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Arab national teams to make historic appearances in AFCON 2021
Total of 7 of Arab teams qualify to African championship
Published in Daily News Egypt on 31 - 03 - 2021

As Egypt becomes record holder, Comoros wins first participation and Tunisia makes unique achievement
The national football teams of seven Arab countries have hit a new record at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2021, which will be hosted early 2022 by Cameroon.
Despite the championships being postponed due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Arab teams have still hit the jackpot in terms of their participation.
The largest version, in which a number of Arab teams participated, was that hosted by Egypt in 2019, in which five Arab teams qualified, namely Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Mauritania. The 2021 version is the biggest yet to witness the dominance of Arab football over the African football scene in the current period.
Egypt's national team qualified as top of Group 7, with 12 points, joined by its nearest rivals in the group, the Comoros national team, which is participating in the AFCON for the first time in its history.
Meanwhile, both Morocco and Mauritania both qualified from Group 5, with the latter participating for the second time. The Mauritanian team raised its score to nine points to come in second place, having first qualified for the AFCON in 2019. At that competition, the team was led by French manager, Corentin Martins, who continues with the team.
Sudan will take part in the competition after an absence of nearly 10 years, having qualified in the second position of Group 3, with 12 points, falling in behind Ghana. And in Group 8, Algeria qualified for the main competition with 14 points, whilst Tunisia qualified at the top of Group 10 with 16 points.
The Sudanese national team wrote a new line in its history with the AFCON, as it succeeded in snatching the qualification card from its counterpart, South Africa, in the sixth and final round of the qualifiers. It won its final match 2-0 against the Bafana-Bafana, with the latter needing a draw to ascend as runner-up.
Sudan's last appearance at the AFCON was in the 2012 edition, which was held in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, where it reached the quarter-finals. The team won the 1970 African Nations Cup, while it succeeded in winning second place twice in 1959 and 1963, and third place in 1957.
Morocco qualified for the AFCON 2021 finals, before the last round in Group E, after it led the group by five points, ahead of runners-up Mauritania.
The Algerian national team qualified after leading the Group 8, with 14 points. It had won 4 games and drew twice.
Tunisia's national team succeeded in writing several records of its own, after its success in qualifying for the finals for the 15th time in a row, and being the top of Group 10.
It won 16 points in six matches, the biggest team to win by such a margin since the group system was adopted in the 1992 AFCON qualifiers.
This is the fourth consecutive qualification for the Tunisian national team, having also recently qualified for the 2015, 2017, and 2019 editions.

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