The Ivorians were supposed to play host to the rest of Africa in 2023, but they would have to apply the brakes on their preparations
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has postponed the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations which was supposed to hold between June-July to January 2024.
The last AFCON which was held in Cameroon earlier in January this year was supposed to hold in 2021. However, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, CAF pushed the tournament to this year.
Ivory Coast was supposed to hold the next continental spectacle in June next year. Thereafter, the competition would return to its previous bi-annual schedule.
However, the highest football governing body in Africa has pushed the competition to 2024 due to weather concerns.
What are the weather concerns?
In Ivory Coast, the rainy season starts around May/June and continues till October/November.
In situations of heavy downpours, some stadiums could get waterlogged. And the possibility of mediocre facilities and poor drainage systems can not be ruled out.
Also, rains could hinder fans from getting to match centers. The transport system in most parts of the continent can not be compared to some of the developed countries in the world.
What the postponement means for the Super Eagles.
Nigeria was pipped to the Qatar 2022 World Cup ticket by Ghana earlier this year. This means the Nigerian flag will not fly in Qatar later this year.
The three-time African champions are almost sure of a ticket for the next AFCON. However, while they can be confident of the ticket, the postponement of the AFCON ensures that the Super Eagles will be out of competitive action till January 2024.
However, it should be good news for coach Jose Peseiro, as he could use the time to organize his team, and know his players better.
A few friendlies should suffice to keep the Super Eagles in good shape.