Africa Cup of Nations: 2023 finals deferred to 2024

By Piyush

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Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Patrice Motsepe stated, the next Africa Cup of Nations will be played in Ivory Coast in 2024, and not 2023.

The tourney was to be conducted in June-July 2023, which is the height of the rainy season in Ivory Coast.

“We cannot take the risk,” the South African stated in the Moroccan capital Rabat.

With the World Cup in Qatar being conducted in November and December this year, the decision has been taken to defer the finals rather than bring them forward.

Meaning, the Nations Cup will be conducted in January and February for the second time consecutively, following this year’s competition in Cameroon.

In 2017, Caf declared that it would move the finals from their traditional January-February slot to June-July in a bid to keep away repeated disputes with European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season.

“January is not the ideal time because of the European clubs, but it is the only choice we have,” Motsepe further said.

The tournament will feature 24 teams and carry total prize money of $100 million, stated Motsepe, saying that just over $10 million will go to the winner.

“The key issue for us is the abnormal interest we’ve been exposed to from some of the biggest and most prominent investors and sponsors,” Caf stated.

Caf also mentioned that the African Champions League, which is open to all countries in Africa, will continue apace with the new African Super League, where the top 24 teams will be determined as per their FIFA ranking.

After huge criticism by defeated finalists Al Ahly following the decision to hold this year’s Champions League final in the home stadium of eventual winners Wydad Casablanca, Caf has also declared that the decisive clash will return to being a two-legged format.

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