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Afcon 2023: Guide to Felix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan

The 50,000-capacity former national stadium the Felix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium will host ten matches at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, including the third-place play-off.

Nicknamed La Félicia, the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium hosts football, rugby union and athletics in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast.

Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, Ivory Coast an Afcon 2023 stadium hosting games at Africa Cup of Nations 2023
Photo by Gavin Barker/Sports Inc/Icon Sport

History of the Houphouët-Boigny Stadium

Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny was renovated in 1964 in anticipation of the ‘Games of Abidjan.' At that time it was known as Stade Andre Geo. That year, it was renamed Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny after the country's then-President.

It quickly became the home of Ivorian national team, as well as hosting ASEC Mimosas and other sports teams.

In 1984, it was one of the host stadiums for the Africa Cup of Nations, alongside Bouaké's Stade de la Paix.

In 2002, the Ivorian great Didier Drogba made his international debut for Les Elephants in an Afcon qualifier.

In 2009, the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny hosted the African Championship of Nations, a tournament in which countries compete only with players who compete in their home leagues. Ahead of the 2009 competition, further renovation work was completed.

Further renovations have occurred since, partly due to the disasters detailed below, including in 2017 and ahead of Afcon 2023. There have, however, been complaints about the quality of the pitch, as at many Ivorian stadiums.

Disasters at Felix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium

Two fatal stampedes have occurred here, in 2009 and 2013. A total of 80 people died in the two events, one of which was a football match between Ivory Coast and Malawi, the other came during a New Year's Eve fireworks display.

Where is the Le Félicia Stadium?

In Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast.

Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, Ivory Coast an Afcon 2023 stadium hosting games at Africa Cup of Nations 2023
Photo by Icon Sport

Why is it called Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium?

The stadium is named after the founder of the Ivorian nation, Félix Houphouët-Boigny, nicknamed ‘The Wise', who dominated politics in Ivory Coast until his death in 1993, having been President since the position's 1960 creation.

It has been nicknamed Le Félicia, something like ‘The Felix' in English.

Afcon 2023 fixtures at the Houphouët-Boigny Stadium

Date Time (GMT) ‘Home' team Result ‘Away' team Round
14 January 2024
17:00
23px Flag of Egypt.svg Egypt
23px Flag of Mozambique.svg Mozambique
Group B
14 January 2024
20:00
23px Flag of Ghana.svg Ghana
23px Flag of Cape Verde.svg Cape Verde
Group B
18 January 2024
20:00
23px Flag of Egypt.svg Egypt
23px Flag of Ghana.svg Ghana
Group B
19 January 2024
14:00
23px Flag of Cape Verde.svg Cape Verde
23px Flag of Mozambique.svg Mozambique
Group B
22 January 2024
17:00
23px Flag of Guinea Bissau.svg Guinea-Bissau
23px Flag of Nigeria.svg Nigeria
Group A
22 January 2024
20:00
23px Flag of Cape Verde.svg Cape Verde
23px Flag of Egypt.svg Egypt
Group B
27 January 2024
20:00
Runner-up Group A
Runner-up Group C
Round of 16
29 January 2024
17:00
Winner Group B
3rd Group A/C/D
Round of 16
2 February 2024
17:00
Winner R2
Winner R1
Quarter-finals
10 February 2024
20:00
Loser SF1
Loser SF2
Third place play-off

What is the largest stadium in Africa?

The Houphouët-Boigny Stadium is the second-largest ground in Ivory Coast, and doesn't appear on our list of the largest stadiums in Africa.

What is the largest stadium in Africa?

1

FNB Stadium

94,736

Johannesburg

South Africa

2

New Administrative Capital Stadium

93,940

New Administrative Capital

Egypt

3

Borg el-Arab Stadium

86,000

Alexandria

Egypt

4

Stade des Martyrs

80,000

Kinshasa

DR Congo

5

Cairo International Stadium

75,000

Cairo

Egypt

6

Ibn Batouta Stadium

65,000

Tangier

Morocco

7

Stade du 5 Juillet

64,200

Algiers

Algeria

8

Ellis Park Stadium

62,567

Johannesburg

South Africa

9

Abuja Stadium

60,491

Abuja

Nigeria

10

Stade 7 November

60,000

Radès

Tunisia

11

Alassane Ouattara Stadium

60,000

Abidjan

Ivory Coast

12

Stade Municipal de Kintélé

60,000

Brazzaville

Congo

13

National Stadium

60,000

Dar es-Salaam

Tanzania

14

Paul Biya Stadium

60,000

Yaoundé

Cameroon

15

Heroes National Stadium

60,000

Lusaka

Zambia


Harry Robinson

A freelance writer and broadcaster, Harry has worked for or featured in/on Manchester United, FourFourTwo, The Independent, The Manchester Mill, UEFA, United We Stand and many others. He's the author of The Men Who Made Manchester United and hosts the Manchester United Weekly Podcast and United Through Time. A Stretford End season ticket holder, Harry travels around Europe to watch his team.

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