The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, known in short as the 2023 AFCON or CAN 2023 and for sponsorship purposes as the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, is the ongoing 34th edition of the biennial African football tournament organised by the Confederation of African Football.
It is being hosted by Ivory Coast, taking place in the country for the second time following the 1984 edition.
This edition of the tournament was initially planned to be the third to take place during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer since 2019 in order to reduce scheduling conflicts with European club teams and competitions.
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However, it was postponed by CAF to January 13 to February 11, 2024 on July 3, 2022 due to the summer weather concerns in Ivory Coast, although the competition retained the original name for sponsorship purposes.
This followed the previous edition in 2021 in Cameroon also being moved to the Northern Hemisphere’s winter season for similar reasons, albeit coupled with postponement due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the CAF calendar.
Senegal were the defending champions, but were eliminated in the round of 16 by host nation Ivory Coast.
The hosting rights for this edition of the tournament were initially awarded to Guinea during a meeting of the CAF executive committee on 20 September 2014, which also awarded the 2019 edition to Cameroon and the 2021 edition to Cameroon.
At the time, the announcement of the 2023 host was unscheduled; Guinea was one of the bidders for the 2019 and 2021 editions, and per CAF’s assertions, on the basis of the country’s presentation “and commitment”, the committee “decided to exercise its power to make an immediate decision.”
A CAF executive committee meeting on July 20, 2017 brought about changes for the tournament moving forward, including an increase in group stage participation teams from 16 to 24 from the 2019 edition.
With the new specifications, Cameroon could not reach the preparation deadlines for the-then following 2019 edition and got stripped of the hosting rights on November 30, 2018, with the hosting rights handed over to Egypt on January 8, 2019.
Cameroon opted for and hosted the 2021 edition instead, which led to original 2021 hosts Ivory Coast organising the 2023 edition.
Guinea’s hosting duties were pushed back to 2025, which until then had unscheduled hosts, though it could not get ready on time either and was eventually stripped from hosting.
Although the tournament retained its original 2023 branding, it was moved to January to February 2024 upon Ivory Coast’s request in order to avoid the West and Central African tropical rain season, which typically reaches its peak around June to July.