The delayed Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 will feature several impressive stadiums when the 24-team tournament begins in January 2024.
The Confederation of African Football (Caf) have put facilities and infrastructure top of their criteria when choosing host countries, with the organisation’s president, Patrice Motsepe, acknowledging the vast investment required to meet exacting standards.
It should make for an eye-catching spectacle when some of the world’s top footballers take part in the 34th edition – 67 years after AFCON began.
Where is AFCON taking place and which stadiums and cities will be hosting matches? The Sporting News has the details.
MORE: AFCON qualifying results
Where is AFCON 2024? 2023 Africa Cup of Nations host country
AFCON will take place in Ivory Coast, whose bid originally beat Guinea, Zambia and Algeria to hosting duties for the 2021 tournament.
That was moved back by two years as a result of Cameroon being adjudged unready to host the 2019 tournament as planned, meaning it hosted the 2021 tournament instead.
The finals usually take place in June and July but were postponed to January and February 2024 because they would have coincided with the height of the rainy season in Ivory Coast.
AFCON 2023 stadiums, venues, host cities
Six stadiums in five cities will be used for AFCON, three of which have been newly built in Korhogo, San Pedro and Yamoussoukro.
Caf are determined to make fan safety paramount following a tragedy at the Cameroon tournament when a gate to the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde was opened because of a heavy build-up of spectators.
The incident during the match between Cameroon and Comoros in the round of 16 resulted in at least eight people being crushed to death.
Test events were held at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan in October, and a number of inspections have been held across the venues.
The Alassane Ouattara Stadium in the capital, Abidjan, is the largest venue and will host the opening game and final, among other matches. Here’s the full list of stadiums involved.
|Alassane Ouattara Stadium||Abidjan||60,000|
|Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium||Abidjan||33,000|
|Stade de la Paix||Bouake||40,000|
|Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium||Korhogo||20,000|
|Laurent Pokou Stadium||San Pedro||20,000|
|Charles Konan Banny Stadium||Yamoussoukro||20,000|
When is the Africa Cup of Nations?
The 24-team AFCON will take place from 13 January until 11 February, starting with six groups of four teams each playing each other and criteria based on head-to-head results between teams and secondly head-to-head goal difference.
The knockout stage will feature the winners and runners-up in each group and the best four third-placed teams. The final will take place at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in the Ivorian capital of Abidjan.
CAF have officially revealed that the opening match of the next Africa Cup of Nations to be hosted next year in Cote d’Ivoire is scheduled to take place on Saturday, 13 January 2024 at the 60,000 capacity Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan. The final takes place on 11 Feb 2024. pic.twitter.com/IqQyPkZhzy
— Babatunde Koiki (@BabatundeKoiki) March 30, 2023
Has Ivory Coast hosted AFCON before?
Ivory Coast’s previous hosting of the tournament came in 1984, when the finals consisted of eight teams in two groups of four.
In the semifinals, which immediately followed the group stage that year, Nigeria beat Egypt and Cameroon defeated Algeria, with both games going to penalties. Algeria then won the final 3-1.
Ivory Coast have won AFCON in 1992 and 2015. On the latter occasion, they beat Ghana 9-8 on penalties following a goalless draw in the final.
Where is the next AFCON? 2025, 2027 hosts
Morocco were named as the 2025 hosts and a joint East African bid by Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania was handed 2027 hosting duties in a Caf ceremony in September 2023.
Two other bids for 2025 – from Zambia and a joint Nigeria-Benin campaign – withdrew to allow Morocco to showcase its hosting abilities in the hope of strengthening its joint bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup with Portugal and Spain. That bid was announced to have been successful the following month.