AFCON 2023 delayed to 2024 amid Ivory Coast weather concerns

Jean-Louis Gasset Afcon trophy GFXGetty / GOAL

The Confederation of African Football - CAF - has confirmed that the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) will be delayed from a summer staging to the start of 2024 amid concerns over weather conditions in the Ivory Coast.

The 34th edition of the continent's top international competition was set to take place next year between June and July, with the Ivory Coast handed hosting rights in place of Cameroon.

But a calendar change has now been made to avoid the pitfalls of the rainy season - and for the second successive iteration, will set the tournament mid-season for many of its best players based in Europe.

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What has been said on the call to move AFCON 2023?

“The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations will now be played between January and February 2024,” CAF president Dr. Patrice Mostepe told a press conference in Morocco. “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. I am happy and impressed with the infrastructure put in place by Ivory Coast in readiness for the tournament and I am sure they will host a very good tournament."

Has AFCON been moved before?

The move to shift the tournament is not the first time that CAF have been forced to reijg their plans, with this year's iteration forced onwards by the Covid-19 pandemic from its original date of 2021.

The federation had previously sought to move towards a mid-year slot from their traditional January-February spot in 2019, in order to reduce clashes between European clubs and nations over the absence of key players.

Senegal will be the defending champions for the next tournament, having beaten Egypt in this year's final.

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