Cote d’Ivoire agrees to host AFCON 2023

Author: Beatrice Laryea
Mr Ahmad Ahmad (left) and President Alassane Ouattara posed for the cameras after the meeting

Cote d'Ivoire will host the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and not the 2021 edition as originally planned.

This new arrangement followed a meeting between on Tuesday between the President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, and CAF president Ahmad Ahmad at the presidential palace in Abidjan.

Touching on the circumstances that led to the new arrangement, Mr Ahmad noted that his outfit took the decision based on several reasons, including the desire to want to protect professional players.  

“I thank the President for taking into account this aspect of solidarity so that we support this shift for the organisation of AFCON 2021 in Cameroun, Côte d'Ivoire in 2023 and Guinea in 2025.

To avoid misinterpretation, only Guinea can decide whether they prefer co-hosting or not but CAF is in favour of a co-hosting of the AFCON,” Ahmad said.

“In November, we had a meeting to make a decision that was not easy at all. On our continent, we have our particularities. We were forced to withdraw AFCON 2019 from Cameroon because the country was not ready for various reasons. There were demands on our professional players.”

Mr Ahmad expressed his gratitude to the Ivorian President, while welcoming his commitment and readiness to help the confederation develop African football.