AFCON 2023 to be played in June/July

The Confederation of African Football confirms that the tournament will take place in Côte d’Ivoire mid-year

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) will take place in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed.

There was uncertainty over the start date of the competition for a brief period, following an announcement in June by President Ahmad Ahmad that the tournament would indeed take place in 2023 but that he did “not know what month”.

CAF’s acting general secretary, Abdel Bah, who confirmed the timing to the BBC, said that the decision was consistent with the current CAF regulations.

Cameroonian exception

“As of today, the 2023 Nations Cup is planned for June/July because, to make it clear, in the regulations we have decided to play all Nations Cups in June/July,” Bah said.

In 2017 the Executive Council of CAF voted in favour of scheduling all future Nations Cups to be played between June and July of each tournament year. Subsequent to this, the decision to change the date was enshrined in CAF’s tournament regulations.

However, an exception will be made for the 2022 AFCON because of unfavourable climatic conditions. Speaking on the subject, Abdel Bah said that the hosts, Cameroon, had asked CAF to reschedule the tournament.

“The Nations Cup in Cameroon, after the request of the authorities, was postponed to January/February,” Bah said.

The request comes as no surprise because of Cameroon’s notoriously wet and rainy weather conditions between June and July.

The decision stretches an already heavy schedule for the continent’s top national teams and its players, who will have to play three major tournaments in 18 months.

With Nations Cups in early 2022 and mid-2023, and the 2022 World Cup, some of Africa’s leading footballers could be obliged to play three major tournaments in the space of 18 months.

Victor Tamakloe

* Asaase Radio 99.5 – now live on your radio. Tune in or log on to broadcasts online.

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