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Ivory Coast’s AFCON postponed to avoid rainy season

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced that next summer’s Africa Cup of Nations in the Ivory Coast will be pushed back to January and February 2024 due to the country’s rainy season in June and July.

The tournament had initially been scheduled to take place from June 23 to July 23 next year but it will now be held in early 2024, with specific dates still to be confirmed.

CAF president Patrice Motsepe said the decision has been taken as a “direct and sole result” of the adverse weather conditions in the Ivory Coast. CAF took action after receiving further technical opinion from experts on adverse effects of staging the matches during June and July.

Ivory Coast has suffered deadly floods and landslides in recent weeks, with the capital city of Abidjan hit particularly hard by the adverse weather conditions.

The most recent Cup of Nations was held in January and February in Cameroon. That tournament had originally been due to take place last summer but was postponed due to disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Cup of Nations was traditionally held in January and February before CAF opted to move the event to the summer months for its 2019 iteration in Egypt. The decision to move next summer’s event to the winter months will once again leave clubs without key players midway through the season.

In other news, CAF has announced that its African Super League club competition will begin in August 2023, with a launch event to be held next month in Tanzania. More details, including the official name of the tournament, will be unveiled at the launch event.

CAF said the tournament is designed to “breathe new life” into African club competition, with winners and participants to receive significant prize money.

CAF has also announced that the final of its Champions League club competition will be played over two legs going forward.

Image: Danilo Borges/CC BY 3.0/Edited for size