Unveiling the Spectacular 2023 Africa Cup of Nations: Ivory Coast’s Kick-Off Revealed! Find Out Why It Was Delayed!

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The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations is scheduled to begin in Ivory Coast on January 13.

Originally planned for the previous summer to prevent overlap with European leagues, the tournament was postponed due to concerns about the potentially harsh weather conditions in Ivory Coast during that season. The West and Central African tropical rainy season typically reaches its highest intensity around June or July.

In January, temperatures tend to be in the high 20s, which will be music to the ears of the 24 teams ready to battle it out for continental supremacy.

What is it?

The 2023 Afcon will be the 34th edition of the biennial tournament organised by the Confederation of African Football. It will be hosted by Ivory Coast for the second time and the first since 1984. Senegal are the defending champions. The tournament mascot is Akwaba (meaning “welcome” in Baoule), a footballing elephant. The match ball, designed by Puma, is called Pokou, after Laurent Pokou, the Ivorian striker who scored five goals in one game at the 1970 tournament.

When is it?

The tournament takes place in Ivory Coast from January 13-February 11.

Which venues will be used?

Six stadiums will be used to host the 52 matches. Two in Abidjan, one each in Bouake, Korhogo, San Pedro and Yamoussoukro.

Alassane Ouattara Stadium (Abidjan) – 60,000 capacity

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

How many teams?

A total of 24 teams will take part, with no debutant nation for the first time since the 2015 edition; 17 teams that participated in the most recent edition in 2021 are set to return for the event.

The teams taking part are:

Ivory Coast



South Africa


Burkina Faso




Equatorial Guinea



Cape Verde







DR Congo





Five players to watch

Mohamed Salah

Liverpool’s “Egyptian King” arrives at the tournament in his best form for quite some time. Having helped fire the Reds to the top of the Premier League table, he put an exclamation point on the first half of his season with a virtuoso display in the 4-2 win over Newcastle. With Salah in this form, Egypt will be hopeful of going deep into the tournament.

Mohammed Kudus

West Ham’s midfield entertainer heads to the tournament with Ghana having lit up the Premier League in recent months. Having initially struggled for game time after his move from Ajax, he has established himself as a key man at the London Stadium with his good form lifting the Hammers into the top six and into the knockout stages of the Europa League.

Serhou Guirassy

The 27-year-old Guinea striker is in high demand having enjoyed a terrific start to the season in the Bundesliga with Stuttgart. Guirassy has 19 goals in 16 games across competitions, helping his club mount a challenge for the Champions League places. That form has alerted a host of Premier League clubs.

Victor Boniface

Another African striker flourishing in the Bundesliga. The 22-year-old has fired Bayer Leverkusen to the top of the table and into the last 16 of the Europa League with an astonishing 16 goals and eight assists in 23 games this season. He will form a formidable attacking trident with Victor Osimhen and Ademola Lookman for Nigeria.

Wilfried Singo

Hosts Ivory Coast might not be as strong as they were in the days of Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure but they have an excellent right full-back in Singo. The former Torino player has been a revelation since his summer move to Monaco and will no doubt be on the radar of some very big clubs if his stellar form continues.


The 2023 Afcon features six groups of four teams. The top two teams in each group qualify automatically for the last 16 along with the four best third-placed teams.

Group A – Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau

Group B – Egypt, Ghana, Cape Verde, Mozambique

Group C – Senegal, Cameroon, Guinea, Gambia

Group D – Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Angola

Group E – Tunisia, Mali, South Africa, Namibia

Group F – Morocco, DR Congo, Zambia, Tanzania


All times are UAE (Ivory Coast is four hours behind):

Group Stage

January 13 – Ivory Coast v Guinea-Bissau, midnight

January 14 – Nigeria v Equatorial Guinea, 6pm; Egypt v Mozambique, 9pm; Ghana v Cape Verde, midnight

January 15 – Senegal v Gambia, 6pm; Cameroon v Guinea, 9pm; Algeria v Angola, midnight

January 16 – Burkina Faso v Mauritania, 6pm; Tunisia v Namibia, 9pm; Mali v South Africa, midnight

January 17 – Morocco v Tanzania, 9pm; DR Congo v Zambia, midnight

January 18 – Equatorial Guinea v Guinea-Bissau, 6pm; Ivory Coast v Nigeria, 9pm; Egypt v Ghana, midnight

January 19 – Cape Verde v Mozambique, 6pm; Senegal v Cameroon, 9pm; Guinea v Gambia, midnight

January 20 – Algeria v Burkina Faso, 6pm; Mauritania v Angola, 9pm; Tunisia v Mali, midnight

January 21 – Morocco v DR Congo, 6pm; Zambia v Tanzania, 9pm; South Africa v Namibia, midnight

January 22 – Equatorial Guinea v Ivory Coast, 9pm; Guinea-Bissau v Nigeria, 9pm; Mozambique v Ghana, midnight; Cape Verde v Egypt, midnight

January 23 – Guinea v Senegal, 9pm; Gambia v Cameroon, 9pm; Angola v Burkina Faso, midnight); Mauritania v Algeria, midnight

January 24 – South Africa v Tunisia, 9pm; Namibia v Mali, 9pm; Tanzania v DR Congo, midnight; Zambia v Morocco, midnight

Last-16 stage

January 27 – Runner-up Group A v runner-up Group C; winner Group D v third place Group B/E/F

January 28 – Runner-up Group B v runner-up Group F; winner Group A v third place Group C/D/E

January 29 – Winner Group B v third place Group A/C/D; winner Group C v third place Group A/B/F

January 30 – Winner Group F v runner-up Group E; winner Group E v runner-up Group D


February 2 and 3


February 7

Third-place play-off

February 10


February 11

2023 Africa Cup Prize money

The champions will receive $5 million, with the runner-up getting $3 million. The losing semi-finalists get $2.5 million.

How can I watch the games on TV?

Afcon 2023 matches will be broadcast live in the UAE on beIN Sports. For more information visit www.bein.com.

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