The President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Patrice Motsepe, has announced that the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) will be played between January and February 2024.
The decision to postpone the tournament, to be hosted in Ivory Coast, to 2024 was decided by the CAF Executive Committee on Sunday, July 3.
The AFCON was initially scheduled to be played in June and July next year but concerns over the rainy season in Cote d’Ivoire have forced the Executive Council of Africa’s football governing body to postpone the showpiece.
Serious floods have hit the West African country in recent months, prompting organizers to move the tournament to January and February 2024, when there is less likelihood of downpours.
“The 2023 AFCON will now be played between January and February 2024,” Mostepe told the media during a press conference in Rabat.
“This is one of the issues we discussed during our congress meeting here in Morocco and the official dates will be communicated 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].
“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,” he explained.
The last tournament was won by Senegal after beating Egypt 4-2 on penalties to clinch their first Afcon win after two previous final defeats.
Following their victory, the country declared February 7, 2022, a national holiday to celebrate the victory.
There were also scenes of jubilation in the French capital, Paris, home to a large Senegalese community. Thousands of celebrating supporters gathered at the Arc du Triomphe.