African Cup of Nations: why is it named 2023 AFCON despite being played in 2024?

The time has come for the premier African soccer competition to take place. The Africa Cup of Nations, also known as AFCON, is going to take place between January and February this year in the nation of Ivory Coast. Many clubs have already seen many of their players join their national teams in order to participate in the upcoming continental competition.

With so much hype for the big tournament, fans are confused about one part. The tournament is being advertised as AFCON 2023, despite the fact that it will be held in 2024! But what is the reason for this choice of name? Let us dive through it!

Why is AFCON being advertised as 2023 AFCON despite playing in 2024?

The Confederation of African Football, shortly called CAF had previously said in June 2022 that there would be a change of schedule for the tournament. Previously, it was set to be held in June and July 2023, as the tournament takes place every two years, with the previous one being held in 2021.

But CAF decided to change the schedule to January and February of this year. The venue for the competition, the nation of Ivory Coast, is the hotspot of heavy rainfall during the previous time period. CAF President Patrice Motsepe revealed at the time, “We cannot take the risk.” It was decided to postpone the time period instead of the venue for logistical purposes, as Ivory Coast had already prepared themselves for the event.

Furthermore, bringing it earlier would have caused it to be held very fast after the 2022 FIFA World Cup. A major reason the name is unchanged from AFCON 2023 to 2024, is because of advertisers and branding reasons.

It would be similar to the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament, which was due to be held in 2020, but postponed to 2021 because of the Corona epidemic.

2023 AFCON groups, start time, venue

With AFCON 2023 set to take place, the group stages have already been decided. This time, there will be six groups, full of great teams. Group A will see hosts Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and 3 time winners Nigeria.

Group B will see record champions Egypt, Ghana, Cape Verde, and Mozambique pitted together. Group C will see defending champions Senegal take on Cameroon, Gambia, and Guinea. Group D consists of 2019 winners Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, and Mauritania.

Group E will have Tunisia, South Africa, Mali, and Namibia, while Group F will see DR Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia face off against heavyweights Morocco.

The top two teams will qualify to the knock out rounds, while third placed teams will have a chance to qualify as well based on their points and other statistics. All games will take place in Ivory Coast, with 6 stadiums chosen in 5 of their cities.

The AFCON 2023 tournament will start on January 14th with hosts Ivory Coast taking on Guinea-Bissau. Who will take the trophy home this year? Drop your predictions in the comments section.

Fazal Al Bashar

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Fazal is a passionate soccer aficionado, who when not discovering the latest soccer stories and rumors, indulges in playing FIFA all night. While he sucks at the sport, he knows the who and what in all things soccer-related.


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