The Africa Cup of Nations trophy retained permanently by Egypt after its national team won the title three times in a row has been lost.
According to Goal, former federation member Magdi Abdelghani however, explained that the cup was destroyed in a fire at the association’s Cairo HQ in 2013.
Ahmed Shobeir, ex-Vice president of Egyptian Football Association earlier revealed that the trophy was initially found to be missing during preparations to build a museum which will house all of the silverware won by the North African nation.
But former FIFA board member and Pharaohs great, Abdelghani confirmed that the AFCON cup was one of several silverware items that had been lost in a fire seven years ago.
Officials of the committee which meets every five years and currently manages the Football Association were surprised that the trophy was not available, in light of their desire to create a museum at the federation headquarters, which would feature the trophy and the national team’s kits,” Shobeir said on the ‘On Time Sports’ TV show.
“However, [they] were surprised to find that the Afcon trophy was lost, and decided to open an investigation.”
Former captain Ahmed Hassan, who led the Pharoahs to to its tripple packed victory at the biennial tournament in 2006, 2008 and 2010 was initially thought to be in possession of the trophy, although he subsequently denied the claim.
“The committee searched for the trophy, but then an employee told them that Ahmed Hassan, the former captain of the Egyptian national team, who won the cup three times in a row, has kept it,” Shobeir added.
Abdelghani later clarified to the press that the trophy had been lost in a fire back in 2013.
“After the burning of the Football Association headquarters, some cups were lost, and the matter was investigated,” the former FA member began, “including the Africa Cup of Nations that we retained.
“Some said that the cup had been with Shawky Gharib, the former general coach of the Egypt national team, and some say it had been with Hassan, the former captain of the Pharaohs.”
After learning of the trophy’s disappearance, Hassan took to social media to express his dismay at the loss.
“I wish I had kept the cup in my house instead of it being lost,” he posted on his @AhmedHassan Twitter handle, “and I am surprised that I’m being questioned about the cup after nine years, despite the presence of two FA boards, and the five-year committee for a year and two months…but they’re only now looking for the cup!
“One of the members of the five-year committee contacted me and told me that they would put a picture of me with the African Nations Cup on the wall inside the federation,” Hassan continued, “and he asked me about the cup.
“I told him that I had delivered it back in 2011, and he said to me: ‘I wish you had not handed it over, as the cup is not at the association now.’”
Egypt have a record of being the most successful country in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations, having won the trophy seven times since 1957.
Their three consecutive victories between 2006 and 2010 is a feat yet to be rivalled in the history of the African championship game.
The last AFCON played in 2019 was won by Algeria after defeating Senegal 1-0.