The Africa Cup of Football in Ivory Coast, originally planned for summer 2023, has been postponed to January and February of the following year.
This was announced by Patrice Motsepe, President of the African Football Confederation (CAF), on Sunday. He cited the summer climatic conditions in the host country as the reason for the new schedule.
“We don’t want to take the risk of holding a tournament in a deluge. That would not be good for African football and its image,” said Motsepe. Last month, at least five people died in severe flooding after torrential rain in Abidjan, one of the tournament’s host cities. At the heart of the rainy season, June is traditionally the rainiest month of the year there.
Until 2017, Africa’s most important football tournament took place at the beginning of the calendar year. Then the Executive Committee of the CAF decided to move the event to the summer. This was intended to accommodate European clubs and their schedules.
The 2019 edition took place in Egypt in June and July, the following edition in Cameroon took place in January and February 2022 after several postponements, partly because of the corona pandemic.