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Afcon 2023: Guide to Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium in Korhogo
Often called simply the Stade de Korhogo, the 20,000-seater Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium is one of six stadiums that were heavily renovated or, in this case, newly-built ahead of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), being held in Ivory Coast from 13 January to 11 February 2024.
It is located in Korhogo, the third most populous city in Ivory Coast and the main city in the north of the country, around 125km from the borders with both Burkina Faso and Mali.
History of the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium
The first modern stadium in the city, it was constructed by China National Building Material, breaking ground in September 2018 before officially opening in September 2023.
History was made on 5 November 2023 in 1-1 draw between women's teams Athletico Abidjan and SC Casablanca, when midfielder Espérance Agbo scored the first goal at the new stadium for the Ivorian side in the 37th minute.
Since then, the city's top flight men's team, CO Korhogo, have taken up residency at the ground for their MTN Ligue 1 fixtures. Other than their usage, not much is known about the future of the arena after Afcon 2023, though the running track around the pitch suggests it will be a multi-purpose venue.
Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium (Credit: CAF)
What is the Stade de Korhogo like?
Holding 20,000 spectators, the seats are arranged in a mosaic pattern in the orange, white and green colours of the Ivorian flag. Despite the interior forming one bowl, there are four distinct stands, as the two side stands are taller than the two at the ends.
The stadium bears some resemblance to mid-sized French grounds, with its curved end stands set quite far back from the pitch, owing to the athletics track around the playing field. Video screens can be found directly behind the goals at both ends of the ground. All four stands are covered by a roof which sits a few metres above the back row of each stand, giving the stadium and open, airy feel.
The exterior of the stadium has no particular distinguishing features; the outer walls are in the national team's orange colour, while the corrugated roof and supporting pillars are grey, perhaps a nod to Ivory Coast's nickname, Les Elephants?
Which Afcon 2023 matches will be played in Korhogo?
As one of the three joint-smallest grounds being used at Afcon, located furthest from the biggest city and main hub of the tournament, Abidjan, it is no surprise that the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium will not feature in the latter stages of the 24-team event.
It will, however, become a home away from home for the four teams in Group E, hosting five of the group's six matches. Starting off with a double-header on 16 January when Tunisia play Namibia before Mali take on South Africa.
In the second round of fixtures, Tunisia face Mali on 20 January, before South Africa and Namibia meet a day later.
As matches in the same group in the final round of fixtures must be played simultaneously, Korhogo will host South Africa vs Tunisia before welcoming Group F sides Tanzania and DR Congo. Both matches will be played on 24 January.
Should South Africa or Tunisia top Group E, they will play a fourth match at the ground, as Korhogo's only knockout tie will be the Round of 16 clash between the winner of Group E and the runner-up of Group D.
Where is the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium?
The stadium is located around 8km south of the city of Korhogo, one of the biggest cities in Ivory Coast, the capital of the Poro region and colloquially known as the capital of the north of the country.
The journey by road from the biggest city and epicentre of Afcon 2023, Abidjan, takes around seven-and-a-half hours. Fortunately for those making the trip, it is a reasonably straightforward journey along Ivory Coast's Autoroute du Nord, with the ground located next to the B308, the road taking you into the city centre. Fans not wanting to undertake the trip overland can opt to fly to Korhogo airport. Located southeast of the city, the airport is only a 12-minute drive from the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium.
For more information about travelling around Ivory Coast via private and public transport during AFCON 2023, please take a look at our guide.
Home to around 250,000 residents, the city is not exactly on the beaten track for even the most adventurous tourists, but there are plenty of hotel, bar and restaurant options available to visitors. The city is also known for its locally produced textile, the Korhogo cloth.
Why is it called the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium?
Amadou Gon Coulibaly served as the Prime Minister of Ivory Coast from 2017 until his death at the age of 61 in 2020. He was secretary general to President Alassane Ouattara at the time of Ivory Coast's winning bid to host AFCON 2023, back in 2014.
He was born and passed away in Abidjan, but the new stadium in Korhogo was named in his honour as he is a former mayor of the city.