The Executive Committee of Confederation of African Football (CAF) has decided that the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Côte d’Ivoire be postponed till 2024.
CAF President Patrice Motsepe, who made the announcement on Sunday in Rabat, Morocco after the committee’s meeting, said the competition would hold in the months of January and February. Two qualifying rounds have already been played and it is not known whether the games will be adjusted given the changes in kickoff dates.
Initially scheduled from June 23 to July 23 in 2023, Motsepe said the competition’s postponement was a direct and sole result of the adverse weather conditions in Côte d’Ivoire. The move risks the wrath of top-flight managers across Europe, with many complaining about the clash with league schedules.
The CAF president went on to say: “It is after deliberations we came to 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.”
It is the second consecutive time that the AFCON is being postponed, after the last edition of the tournament in Cameroon, where Senegal emerged the winners after defeating Egypt on penalties in the final, was equally postponed.
The tournament was originally scheduled for April 4 to 25, 2020 before CAF announced on March 17, 2020 that the tournament had been postponed to a later date due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the press conference on Sunday, the Committee also announced the creation of an African Super League next season, which will be formally launched on August 10 with the winner to get $10million.