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HomeNewsAFCON 2023: A Spectacle in Ivory Coast

AFCON 2023: A Spectacle in Ivory Coast

The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 is set to captivate football fans across the continent as it presents an array of impressive stadiums. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has prioritized top-notch facilities and infrastructure in selecting the host country. CAF President Patrice Motsepe has acknowledged the substantial investment required to meet the tournament’s exacting standards.

Taking place in January 2024, the 34th edition of AFCON promises to be a dazzling event. Ivory Coast emerged victorious in the bidding process, defeating strong competition from Guinea, Zambia, and Algeria to secure the hosting rights initially intended for the 2021 tournament. However, due to Cameroon’s unpreparedness for the 2019 edition, the schedule was reshuffled, resulting in Ivory Coast hosting AFCON 2023 instead.

To ensure optimal playing conditions, the tournament was shifted from its traditional June and July timeframe to January and February 2024. This change avoids a clash with the rainy season in Ivory Coast, allowing for a seamless and uninterrupted competition.

AFCON 2023 will be held across six stadiums in five cities. Notably, new state-of-the-art stadiums have been constructed in Korhogo, San Pedro, and Yamoussoukro. CAF has prioritized fan safety following a tragic incident at the Cameroon tournament, where overcrowding led to fatalities. Rigorous inspections and test events have been conducted at the venues, ensuring that all necessary precautions are in place.

The largest stadium, the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan with a capacity of 60,000, will host the highly anticipated opening match, as well as the final and other exciting fixtures. Additional stadiums involved in AFCON 2023 include the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan (33,000 capacity), Stade de la Paix in Bouake (40,000 capacity), Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium in Korhogo (20,000 capacity), Laurent Pokou Stadium in San Pedro (20,000 capacity), and Charles Konan Banny Stadium in Yamoussoukro (20,000 capacity).

Next year, from January 13 to February 11, football enthusiasts can look forward to witnessing the intense competition of the 24-team AFCON. The tournament will commence with group stages, followed by knockout rounds featuring group winners, runners-up, and the best four third-placed teams. The grand finale will take place at the magnificent Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.

Ivory Coast’s previous experience as host came in 1984 when they staged a tournament that featured eight teams. The intense semifinals ended with Nigeria and Cameroon securing victories in penalty shootouts. Ultimately, Algeria emerged as the victors, defeating Nigeria 3-1 in the final. Ivory Coast has previously won AFCON on two occasions, in 1992 and 2015.

Looking ahead, Morocco has been selected as the host for AFCON 2025, while a joint bid by Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania has secured hosting duties for AFCON 2027. These decisions were announced during a prestigious CAF ceremony in September 2023. Furthermore, Morocco’s successful bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup with partners Portugal and Spain further solidifies their standing as a premier host nation.