Patrice Motsepe, president of the Confederation of African Football, has stated that the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Ivory Coast would instead take place in 2024.
On Sunday, Motsepe announced the postponement in Rabat, the capital of Morocco.
The competition was scheduled to take place in June–July 2023, the height of Ivory Coast’s rainy season.
The AFCON has been postponed twice in a row, following the postponement of the previous edition in Cameroon, where Senegal won the competition after defeating Egypt on penalties in the championship match.
Before CAF’s announcement on the 17th of March, 2020 that the tournament had been postponed to a later date because of the COVID -19 epidemic, the original dates for the competition were April 4 to 25, 2020.
The 33rd iteration of the AFCON finally occurred in 2022 after going through multiple date revisions.
The greatest African football tournament’s 34th iteration, which was originally slated to take place in Ivory Coast from 23rd of June to 23rd of July, 2023, similarly met the same demise after the CAF president declared that the weather in the West African nation would prevent it from proceeding as planned.
At a press conference in Morocco, Mostepe announced that the 2023 AFCON will now be held in January and February 2024.
He said the topic was discussed during their congress meeting while they were in Morocco, and the precise dates will be announced later.
“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).”
He added that the federation had to postpone it because playing in a tournament that could be canceled is bad for African football, bad for Africa, and bad for the continent itself.
However, Motsepe praised Ivory Coast for the preparations they have already made to host the competition.
Motsepe stated that he was pleased and delighted with the infrastructure put in place by Ivory Coast in preparation for the event, and he is confident that they would host a very strong tournament.