BY Jerry Lenbang
The next Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) scheduled for the Ivory Coast has been shifted from June 2023 to January 2024.
Patrice Motsepe, president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), confirmed the postponement on Sunday.
Motsepe said the tournament initially scheduled for June 23 to July 23, 2023, will not be played as planned due to the weather conditions in the West African country.
Speaking at a news conference in Rabat, capital of Morroco, the African football’s governing body chief said, “the 2023 Afcon will now be played between January and February 2024.”
“This is one of the issues we discussed during our congress meeting here in Morocco and the official dates will be communicated later,” he said.
“It is after deliberations we came into the decision, we have partners and even though we make decisions, it is out of respect that we take the advice we are getting that we cannot take a risk [to host the tournament] and so that is why we have made the necessary announcement today [Sunday].
“It is not good for African football to play a tournament that can be washed out, it is not good for Africa and the continent at large and so we have to postpone it.”
The development means the AFCON will be held in January and February for the second time in a row, after this year’s tournament in Cameroon, which was won by Senegal.
The tournament was initially scheduled to be played from April 4 to 25, 2020.
A few days before the opener, the African football’s governing body postponed it due to the COVID-19 pandemic.