Why the 2024 AFCON is Called 2023? Unraveling the Date Shift Behind the Africa Cup of Nations

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    The Confederation of African Football (CAF) decided to shift the much-anticipated Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 to the year 2024. The stage is set for an exhilarating 24-team competition, commencing on January 13 and concluding on February 11. The tournament will feature six groups, each comprising four teams battling it out on the field. Criteria for determining success include initial head-to-head outcomes between clubs, followed by head-to-head goal differentials.

    Soccer Football – AFCON – Final – Senegal v Egypt – Olembe Stadium, Yaounde, Cameroon – February 6, 2022 General view of the Africa Cup of Nations trophy on display before the match REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

    The reigning champions, Senegal, clinched victory in the previous tournament. However, the Egyptian national team, the Pharaohs, have proven to be formidable contenders, reaching the final twice in the last three tournaments. In 2021, they came tantalizingly close to glory, narrowly losing to Senegal in a penalty shootout.

    The significance of the tournament dates cannot be overstated, as football luminaries like Mohamed Salah and Victor Osimhen gear up to lead their nations in the quest for Africa’s most coveted trophy. But why is AFCON 2024 labeled as 2023? Let’s delve into the reasons behind this intriguing nomenclature.

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    Naming Quirks: Decoding the Decision to Stick with AFCON 2023 in 2024

    The decision to label the 2024 AFCON as the 2023 edition has raised eyebrows, prompting questions about the rationale behind this unconventional naming choice. Originally slated for June and July 2023, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced a shift to early 2024 due to concerns about adverse weather conditions during Ivory Coast’s rainy season.

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    PARIS, FRANCE – FEBRUARY 27: Patrice Motsepe poses for a photo on the Green Carpet ahead of The Best FIFA Football Awards 2022 on February 27, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Lionel Hahn/Getty Images)

    CAF President Patrice Motsepe emphasized the importance of avoiding risks, stating, “We cannot take the risk,” as the finals were initially planned for the wettest period of the year. Interestingly, this adjustment in schedule doesn’t alter the tournament’s traditional biennial cycle, leading to the retention of the 2023 moniker.

    A key factor influencing this decision was the proximity to the FIFA World Cup, held in November and December of 2022. Changing AFCON to an earlier date would have brought it uncomfortably close to the global football spectacle.

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    Delving into recent history, the naming consistency amid schedule changes isn’t unprecedented. The UEFA EURO 2020, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, was rescheduled to 2021 but retained its original name. AFCON organizers might be factoring in branding, logistics, and expenses in maintaining the 2023 title.

    Victor Osimhen for Nigeria Image Credits Goal
    Victor Osimhen for Nigeria, Image Credits – Goal

    The shift from January and February to the summer for AFCON finals, agreed upon by CAF in 2017, aimed to avoid conflicts with club schedules. While the tournament provides a prestigious opportunity for players, the mid-season disruption poses a significant challenge for their club teams.

    1. When will AFCON 2023 Begin?

      The stage is set for an exhilarating 24-team competition, beginning on January 13 and ending on February 11.

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    Chasing Glory and Riches: Unveiling the Prize Pool for AFCON 2023

    In the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023, Ivory Coast braces itself to host the football spectacle, marking the second occasion for the nation. As 24 African nations vie for supremacy, with Senegal defending their crown and Mohamed Salah seeking redemption, the tournament promises not just glory but substantial financial rewards.

    Prize Breakdown

    The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has allocated a substantial prize pool of $14.8 million for AFCON 2023. The victorious team will secure a staggering $7 million, signaling a notable 40% increase from the previous edition in 2019, where the winner received $5 million.

    Soccer Football – Africa Cup of Nations 2019 – Group C – Algeria v Kenya – 30 June Stadium, Cairo, Egypt – June 23, 2019 Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez in action REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

    Runner-Up Rewards

    The runner-up of AFCON 2023 is set to claim $4 million, a considerable boost of $1.5 million compared to the prize awarded to Egypt, the runners-up in the 2021 edition.

    Elevated Rewards for Semifinalists and Quarterfinalists

    Even the losing semifinalists and quarterfinalists will experience an uptick in their earnings. In 2021, losing semifinalists received $2.2 million, while losing quarterfinalists were awarded $1.18 million. CAF has decided to amplify the prize money for these stages in AFCON 2023, with losing semifinalists taking home $2.5 million and losing quarterfinalists garnering $1.3 million.

    Here’s the summarized breakdown of the prize money for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations:

    FinishPrize Money
    Winner$7 million
    Runner-up$4 million
    Losing Semifinalists$2.5 million
    Losing Quarterfinalists$1.3 million
    These figures reveal the substantial rewards awaiting the successful teams.
    Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Round of 16 – Morocco v Spain – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar – December 6, 2022 Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi celebrates after scoring the winning penalty during the penalty shootout as Morocco progress to the quarter finals REUTERS/Matthew Childs


    A Comparative Look at Prize Money Across Major 2024 Tournaments

    The prize money distribution in the AFCON 2023 holds its own among the major international tournaments scheduled for 2024. Let’s compare the rewards across these footballing spectacles:

    AFCON 2023

    Winner: $7 million
    Runner-up: $4 million

    AFC Asian Cup 2023

    Winner: $5 million
    Runner-up: $3 million

    FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Africa Cup of Nations – Final – Senegal v Egypt – Olembe Stadium, Yaounde, Cameroon – February 6, 2022 Senegal’s Sadio Mane celebrates with the player of the tournament award after the match REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

    UEFA Euro 2024

    Winner (if winning all group games): $30.9 million
    Second-placed team: $27.9 million

    Copa America 2024

    Winner: $10 million
    Runner-up: $5 million

    In this comparison, AFCON 2023’s winning prize stands out as substantial, offering $2 million more than the AFC Asian Cup. However, UEFA Euro 2024 surpasses all, with a considerably higher winning prize, emphasizing the prestige and financial significance of the European competition. Copa America 2024, while not reaching Euro’s heights, offers a noteworthy reward for the triumphant nation.

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