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everything you need to know about a record year for Africa’s biggest football event

Africa’s greatest soccer competition – the lads’s Africa Cup of Nations 2023 – is being hosted via Côte d’Ivoire in west Africa and can culminate in its ultimate fit on 11 February 2024.

Greater than ever ahead of, the sector might be observing the motion on the thirty fourth version of the cup, for the reason that a few of soccer’s biggest athletes might be taking part. Upload to this the truth that the event takes position within the Ecu iciness and so it doesn’t face pageant from some other main global tournaments except for the AFC Asian Cup.

Learn extra:
Africa Cup of Nations showcases the continent’s finest footballers – and China’s economic clout

The event has its critics, particularly in Europe, the place a number of golf equipment might be dropping key gamers to African groups. Even so, only a few will doubt that Afcon has entered a brand new technology.

As a scholar of sports activities conversation with a focal point on African soccer, I imagine that this might be a document 12 months for Afcon. Big name points of interest apart, the event continues to develop relating to world viewership, progressed amenities, media consideration and larger prize payouts.

Report prize cash

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has introduced a 40% increase within the prize cash for successful Afcon. The successful nationwide crew will take house US$7 million whilst the runner-up takes US$4 million, 3rd position takes US$2.5 million and the fourth positioned crew takes US$1.3 million. Despite the fact that nonetheless a ways in the back of Europe, those prizes are larger than what the Copa América (the South American Soccer Championship) introduced in 2021.

Big name points of interest

Africa’s famous person gamers are family names in Europe, because of top profile positions in main golf equipment. Giant names like Victor Osimhen (Nigeria), Achraf Hakimi (Morocco) and Mohamed Salah (Egypt) will all be representing their international locations on the event. They gained the highest 3 maximum votes for the 2023 African Participant of the 12 months award. As well as, different Caf Awards finalists – Fiston Mayele (Congo), Peter Shalulile (Namibia) and Percy Tau (South Africa) – will all be taking part. Added to this line-up is the sensational Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou.

The impressively renovated Stade de l. a. Paix in Côte d’Ivoire.
Sia Kambou/AFP by way of Getty Pictures

International audience

The event might be an international tournament. Caf has announced a brand new set of broadcasting rights agreements. Those come with media agreements with the BBC and Sky in the United Kingdom, Band TV in Brazil, beIN and Canal+, amongst a number of different entities. Those agreements imply that the event might be watched are living in 180 international locations far and wide the sector. Caf additionally introduced over 6,000 media packages for accreditation. That is greater than double the packages gained for the former Afcon.

International magnificence amenities

Côte d’Ivoire has pulled out the entire stops to be sure that this 12 months’s Afcon is an international magnificence tournament. The host country is estimated to have spent US$1 billion renovating roads, stadiums, hospitals and different infrastructure in preparation for the event. Past renovating present stadiums, the rustic constructed 3 new venues. There are two new 20,000 capability stadiums. Laurent Pokou Stadium is in San-Pédro within the excessive south-west of the rustic and Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium at Korhogo within the north.

The largest new facility, Alassane Ouattara Stadium, is situated simply out of doors the commercial capital, Abidjan, and was once constructed with $260 million to seat 60,000 spectators all below a roof.

A few of these venues, like the only in Korhogo, are accompanied via newly constructed lodges, villas and roads. As host country, Ivory Coast will even revel in the good thing about a fan base that would spice up its crew’s morale and possibilities of successful.

The favourites

A wholesome contention between countries – particularly from west Africa and north Africa – will building up the stakes at this 12 months’s Afcon. Twenty-four groups are taking part in within the team level and 16 of them will qualify for the knockout stage. Which means that 3 groups will undergo from 4 of the six teams.

Learn extra:
Women’s Afcon 2022: Nigeria sweats as Morocco and Cote d’Ivoire usher in new era

Even supposing Morocco changed into the primary African crew to achieve the semifinal of a males’s soccer International Cup, the Moroccans would possibly to find it tough to win Afcon. Morocco has won only one Afcon identify, again in 1976 in Ethiopia, and reached the overall in 2004 in Tunis. However the north African nation is firmly a few of the favourites in Côte d’Ivoire. Becoming a member of them are the host country and the protecting champions, Senegal. Nigeria and Algeria also are sturdy contenders, with Mali a depressing horse for the championship.

Making an allowance for these kind of tendencies, there’s undoubtedly that the event will set information in viewership and for stadium attendance, within the procedure opening up a brand new vista for Africa’s maximum prestigious event.

Afcon will get below means on 13 January 2024.



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