2023 AFCON postponed to January 2024 due to weather concerns

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations will take place in January-February 2024 instead of July-August next year due to heavy rainy conditions during that period in the host nation, Côte d’Ivoire.

Confederation of African Football (CAF) president, Patrice Motsepe, confirmed the rescheduling on Sunday following a meeting of the CAF Executive Committee in Rabat.

FILE PHOTO: The Africa Cup of Nations trophy. /Getty Images

“The advice we are getting is that we cannot take that risk. There is still a lot of time and that’s why we made the announcement today,” Motsepe said.

Motsepe also confirmed that plans regarding the African Super League will be implemented and launched in August in Tanzania.

Motsepe said the Champions League and the Confederation Cup will continue alongside the Super League and CAF will continue discussions with potential investors of the Super League in the coming months following the launch.

“It has huge potential to significantly uplift and make African football even much more competitive.”

The tournament will include 24 teams based on their FIFA rankings and, Motsepe added, that there will be a geographical spread of the clubs and restrictions on the number of teams from a single country.

“We need to have a process that is transparent, open, and allows other clubs that are not part of the African Super League/African Football League in the beginning. That there is an opportunity for them to compete and qualify and be part of it in future.”

The CAF Champions League final will also revert to the traditional home-and-away format doing away with the single-leg format which attracted criticism from clubs.

Record 10-time champions Al Ahly of Egypt had complained to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) about the hosting of the 2022 final at the Stade Mohamed V in Morocco which gave Wydad Athletic Club what it said was an unfair advantage.

Al Ahly lost the final against Wydad 2-0 with the Moroccan club claiming a third Champions League title.

Motsepe, however, defended CAF against accusations of bias towards Morocco in awarding the rights to host the final.

“My job as president of CAF is to treat every club and every nation equally, it’s very important.”

“The issues of the perceptions that there are times when Morocco is being favoured, it’s just that Morocco at times is the only country that bids, and the reason why they bid is because there are a lot of costs and expenses that go with hosting.”

(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports)