Caf have confirmed the postponement of the Africa Cup of Nations finals scheduled for the Ivory Coast from June 2023 to January 2024.
African football's governing body, through President Dr Patrice Motsepe, announced on Sunday that the 34th edition, which was initially scheduled for June 23 to July 23, 2023, will not be played as planned due to the weather conditions in the West African country.
“The 2023 Afcon will now be played between January and February 2024,” Mostepe told the media during 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.”
Motsepe, however, lauded Ivory Coast for the preparations they have already put in place to stage the tournament.
“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,” Motsepe continued.
After the final vote at the Caf Executive Committee meeting on September 20, 2014, the African body announced the hosts for 2019, 2021, and 2023 Afcon tournaments, initially awarding 2019 to Cameroon, 2021 to the Ivory Coast, and 2023 to Guinea.
The last edition of the Afcon was held in Cameroon where Senegal emerged the winners after defeating Egypt on penalties in the final. Originally the tournament was scheduled to be played from April 4 to 25, 2020.
However, Caf announced on March 17, 2020, that the tournament had been postponed to a later date due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On June 30, they announced the tournament would be rescheduled to January 2020, although it ultimately took place earlier this year.