The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has pushed the next edition of 2023 Africa Cup of Nations to 2024 over weather conditions in the host country Ivory Coast.
The tournament was initially scheduled for June-July 23 in the West African nation but due to the rainy season that starts in the same period in Ivory Coast, CAF has decided to push the event to January and February 2024 in the same country.
“We cannot take the risk,” CAF President Patrice Motsepe said in the Moroccan capital Rabat on Sunday.
The development now means AFCON will be held in January and February for the second time in a row, after this year’s tournament in Cameroon.
CAF had in 2017 announced plans of moving the AFCON finals from their traditional January-February slot to June-July with an aim of avoiding repeated disputes with European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season.
“January is not the ideal time because of the European clubs, but it is the only choice we have,” Motsepe added.
However, reports also say that there are no plans to permanently move the finals back to January-February given the contrasting weather patterns across the continent at different times of the year.
African Super League
Motsepe also added that the African Super League will get underway in August 2023.
The competition will feature 24 teams and carry total prize money of $100m, over $10m will go to the winner.
“The key issue for us is the abnormal interest we’ve been exposed to from some of the biggest and most prominent investors and sponsors,” Motsepe said.
Caf also said that the African Champions League will continue alongside the new African Super League, where the top 24 teams will be decided according to their Fifa ranking.
Caf has also announced that the Champions League final will return to being a two-legged format.
“I appreciate the huge amount of unhappiness that the president of Al Ahly expressed in relation to the hosting of the African Champions League final here [in Morocco].”
Caf Champions League final became a one-off final from 2020-2022 after over half a century of staging two-legged finals with Moroccan club Wydad Casablanca edging Egyptian giants Al Ahly to crowned African Champions.