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It is 100 Days to Africa Cup of Nations 2023

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In 100 days from today, Africa’s biggest event; the CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Cote d’Ivoire 2023 will kick-off in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire bringing together Africa’s top football stars from 13 January until 11 February.

With today marking exactly 100 Days to kick-off, excitement to the biggest event on African soil has reached fever pitch, with the Ivorian nation eagerly anticipating to welcome the 24 national teams as well as the rest of Africa to its shores for the 34th edition of the  CAF Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The Official Final Draw, to be conducted on 12 October at 19h00 local time, marks yet another important milestone as this will see the battle lines being officially drawn for the 24 qualified teams.

The  Africa Cup of Nations is watched by over 500 million people in over 150 countries – making it the biggest event to be staged on African soil and amongst the biggest sporting events.

New look and new Identity for CAF Africa Cup of Nations

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In June 2023, CAF and the Côte d’Ivoire Local Organising Committee unveiled the official identity for the  CAF Africa Cup of Nations Côte d’Ivoire 2023.

This was the first time in over a decade that CAF has given the  CAF Africa Cup of Nations identity a new look – once again demonstrating CAF’s commitment in making the event in Cote d’Ivoire next year the best in living memory of the competition.

Stadiums and Infrastructure: Ivorian Government’s huge infrastructure commitment

The Ivorian Government has invested a lot in building world class stadiums in all the five cities that will host the event:

Not only are the stadiums world class, the country has benefited in major roads and infrastructure upgrades as part of the preparations for the s CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Cote d’Ivoire 2023.

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Five host cities will be used for the event.

HOST CITIES  & STADIUMS 

Abidjan: (Alassane Ouattara Stadium and Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium)

The economic hub, Abidjan will have two stadiums: Alassane Ouattara Stadium and Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium.

Abidjan is home to almost six million people.

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The Alassane Ouattara Stadium will host the opening match on 13 January 2024 and the final of the competition on 11 February 2024.

In preparation for the competition, the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium underwent major renovations, including upgrades to its structure, seating, and turf. The stadium now has a seating capacity of 29,000.

It will host Cote d’Ivoire next friendly on 14 October 2023 – the match will be used as a test event.

Bouaké: (Stade De La Paix)

Bouaké, along with Abidjan, served as a host city for the 1984 Africa Cup of Nations. It is located in the central part of the country, 350 km from the economic capital, and 100 km from Yamoussoukro, the political capital.

Korhogo: (Stade Amadou Gon Coulibaly)

Korhogo, known as the “Pôrô” city, named after a tradition of the local Sénoufo ethnic group, is the capital of the Savanes region.

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It is located approximately 207 km from Mali and 242 km from Burkina Faso, with an estimated population of around 300,000 inhabitants.

Yamoussoukro: (Charles Konan Banny Stadium)

The birthplace of the first President of the Republic, the late Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Yamoussoukro serves as the political and administrative capital of Côte d’Ivoire.

It is located 240 km north of Abidjan and has an estimated population of over 260,000 inhabitants.

San Pédro: (Laurent Pokou Stadium)

Located in the southwest of Côte d’Ivoire, 350 km from Abidjan, San Pédro is a coastal and tourist city with a population of just over 265,000 inhabitants.

It is home to the country’s second-largest port and the world’s leading cocoa export port.

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The Laurent Pokou Stadium, built on a 23.33-hectare site in the Poro district of San Pedro, is a towering figure and one of the proud architectural gems.

Cafonline

 

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

AFCON

Nigeria’s AFCON 2025 fixtures almost in same pattern with World Cup qualifiers

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Confederation of African Football (CAF)  has now released the full fixtures of the qualifying series for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations.

The fixtures for the Nigerian team is almost in the same pattern with that of the 2026 World Cup qualification which has seen the Super Eagles wobbling.

Like that of the World Cup, the Super Eagles will begin their quest for qualifcation for AFCON with a home game in Uyo as they will host Benin Republic.

As it was in the World Cup, they will then head to Rwanda. Last November, their second match was played in Rwanda which hosted Zimbabwe home match. This time the Super Eagles will be facing Rwanda, the same team they will meet when the World Cup qualification series resume in March next year.

On Match Day 3, the Super Eagles will host Libya and will have the reverse fixture immediately after that of Match Day 3.

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Later they travel to Benin for Match Day 5 before hosting Rwanda on the last match day.

The Fixtures

  • September 2 – Nigeria vs Benin Republic; Libya vs Rwanda
  • September 6 – Rwanda vs Nigeria; Benin Republic vs Libya
  • October 11 – Nigeria vs Libya; Benin Republic vs Rwanda
  • October 16 – Libya vs Nigeria; Rwanda vs Benin Republic
  • November 11 – Benin Republic vs Nigeria; Rwanda vs Libya
  • November 15 – Nigeria vs Rwanda; Libya vs Benin Republic

The top two teams qualify for AFCON 2025

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Rohr roars warning to Benin; Nigeria, Rwanda will not be easy

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

Former Nigeria manager, Gernot Rohr now handling Benin Republic has warned The Cheetahs of Benin not to expect an easy match when the team meet Rwanda and Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers later this month.

 Last month, he led his team to defeat both Rwanda and Nigeria in World Cup qualifying duels in Abidjan, where Benin Republic are compelled to play their home matches following inadequate facilities at home.

 Benin’s 1-0 defeat of Rwanda was Rohr’s first victory with the team. Days later, he followed up with a 2-1 defeat of Nigeria, the first Benin Republic victory in over 65 years.

 Those wins have put Benin in the frame of possible qualification for the World Cup. They are now to meet Nigeria and Rwanda again in World Cup qualifiers.

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 It won’t be easy, remarked Rohr.  Hear the Franco-German as he spoke in French but translated into English for the Sports Village Square: “From September we will play against Nigeria before facing Libya and Rwanda.  

“These are three difficult opponents.  We had already played Rwanda and Nigeria but be careful, it’s not because we won Rwanda and Nigeria that it will be easy matches.

“ We know that it is possible to achieve good performances again.  We know that Nigeria with its great players will want to take revenge against us.

“ I think it will probably be an interesting match in Uyo before continuing against Libya.  I suppose in Abidjan because in September the Mathieu Kerekou friendship stadium  will not be ready.  

“Everything will be decided in three months in September, October and November.  It’s a difficult group but it’s playable.  

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“You have to finish in the top two.  We had a team that is becoming solid, where the players are like brothers, accomplices.  I hope we will recover the players who were absent.  We are confident.”

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AFCON

Coaches react after intriguing Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers Draw

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The journey towards qualification to the  Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2025 shifted a gear higher on Thursday, after CAF officially conducted the draw of the qualifiers in Johannesburg South Africa.

A total of 48 nations will vie for the 24 places that will contests the 35th edition of Africa’s most prestigious competition.

This is what some of the coaches has to say in reaction to the draw outcomes.

Emerse Fae, Cote d’Ivoire coach

“I am satisfied because we are going to play against Zambia, a team that we know very well. In our last qualifying campaign, we lost against them. We know what mistakes to avoid.

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“I am also satisfied because I did not want to have countries geographically far from Cote d’Ivoire which will lessen the travel load. That said, in Africa, there are no longer small teams. All the teams will want to challenge us because we are the reigning champions”

Leslie Notši

“The draw is very interesting because when you have the host in your group, it means they qualify automatically for the tournament, and you have to double your efforts to secure the remaining qualification spot which will be contested by the three other teams in the group.

“We will work very hard to see to it that we are competitive side and try as much as we can to get maximum points in matches against countries that are with us in our group. It will be very important to do well in our home games and I know all eyes will be on “Morocco as the hosts and a powerhouse in our group. We will draw inspiration from recent games where we played the likes of Nigeria as well as Cote d’voire and were able to frustrate them”

Amir Abdou, Mauritania Coach

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“Quite a complicated draw. Egypt will be the big contender for qualification. They have a good track record that speaks volumes.

“Seven times African champions – that’s no small thing. We also have Cape Verde who eliminated us during the last AFCON.

“This team is made up of many quality players. We have Botswana, they are having a good qualifying campaign for the World Cup. We have a pretty strong group. It’s up to us to believe in ourselves. We will do everything we can to achieve our fourth participation in the AFCON”.

Kévin Nicaise, Chad coach

 “We are already having the reigning African champions facing the last qualified team in the FIFA rankings. These will definitely be very difficult matches played at high intensity. We will fight to defend our nation’s pride. The group remains relatively open, and we will approach these qualifications with humility and ambition”.

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 Badou Zaki, Niger coach

“We have every chance of qualifying. For me, Ghana is a football country with a team that is blessed with great professionals. But this is not the team of 5 or 6 years ago. Even at home, they can lose.

“Angola had a good showing at the last AFCON with their beautiful, modern and fast football. It’s a team that shook up the big teams in Cote d’Ivoire.

“I know Sudan very well. They are first in their World Cup qualifying group. They are going to be dangerous, but we know our strengths and we know we can go far”

-CAF

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