Song set for record eighth finals

LUBANGO, Angola - Defender Rigobert Song will take part in a record eighth African Nations Cup finals if he plays for Cameroon in their opening Group D match against Gabon on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old has appeared in seven previous tournaments, as have Alain Gouamene of Ivory Coast and Egypt striker Hossam Hassan.

Egypt captain Ahmed Hassan is also at his eighth successive Nations Cup finals but was only a squad member in 1996 and did not play.

Song already holds the record for the most matches at the finals. He has played in 33 games and has not missed a match since making his first appearance in South Africa in 1996.

He captained the Cameroon to title success in Nigeria in 2000 and in Mali two years later but has since been replaced as skipper by striker Samuel Eto'o.

Song, who plays for Turkish club Trabzonspor, made his international debut as a teenager in 1993 and has won 132 caps.

He holds the unwanted record of being the youngest player sent off at the World Cup finals, aged 17 in the United States in 1994.

The defender's nephew Alexandre Song is also expected to play against Gabon.

The Arsenal midfielder burst on to the international scene at the 2008 Nations Cup in Ghana where Cameroon were beaten in the final by Egypt.