The Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Ivory Coast have signed a formal agreement for Ivory Coast to host the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. The deal finally assures that the West African nation will host the next AFCON, which will actually hold in 2024.
CAF president Patrice Motsepe met with vice-president Tiemoko Meyliet Kone and sports minister Paulin Claude Dahno in Abidjan to sign the contract.
The finals, scheduled for January and February 2024, will be held in Abidjan, Bouake, Korhogo, San-Pedro, and Yamoussoukro. The opening game and final will be played in Abidjan’s 60,000-seat Stade Olympique d’Ebimpe, while the city’s 45,000-seat Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium is being refurbished.
Ivory Coast’s Minister of Tourism, Siandou Fofana, has urged for hotels to be updated to international standards.
The 2023 Nations Cup was originally scheduled for June and July 2023 but was rescheduled to 2014 to avoid Ivory Coast’s rainy season. Qualifiers are underway, although September matchups were delayed to allow Africa’s five World Cup participants to organise friendlies. In March, group matches will resume, with the last two rounds in September. Ivory Coast is in Group H despite being assured of participation as the host nation.
Meanwhile, CAF is already looking for possible hosts for the 2025 Nations Cup. Last month, Guinea lost the right to host because it didn’t have enough infrastructure and facilities. After collecting paperwork and touring bidding countries, the victorious country or co-hosts will be announced on 10 February.