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Six football grounds make up the list of Afcon stadiums for the 2023 African Cup of Nations hosted in Ivory Coast in January 2024.
The West African country's capital, Abidjan, is home to two of the half-dozen stadiums, with the others in Bouaké, Korhogo, San Pedro and Yamoussoukro.
The Africa Cup of Nations is the continent's biggest football tournament. Fifty-two matches will be hosted in the Côte d’Ivoire across January and February 2024.
It is the 34th edition of the biennial tournament and the first time it has been hosted by Ivory Coast since 1984.
This edition was initially supposed to be hosted in the summer to reduce scheduling conflicts with European club competitions, but the Confederation of African Football postponed it due to concerns about weather conditions during the Ivory Coast's summer.
AFCON 2023: Which stadiums will be used in Ivory Coast?
Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan (60,000)
By far the largest stadium in Ivory Coast, the Alassane Outtara Stadium (also known as the National Stadium or Olympic Stadium), was opened in 2020 and is named after the country's President, Alassane Outtara.
Like many African new-built stadiums, Ivory Coast's national arena was constructed with the help of the country's partnership with China. Chinese brands and companies were heavily involved in the building and the design was prepared by the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design. The Alassane Outtara Stadium was built at a cost of around £200m.
Houphouët-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan (50,000)
Nicknamed La Félicia, the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium hosts football, rugby union and athletics in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast. It used to be the country's national stadium and is named after the first-ever Ivory Coast President, Félix Houphouët-Boigny.
Le Félicia is home to ASEC Abidjan. It was built in 1964 in preparation for the ‘Games of Abidjan' and has undergone several renovations, most notably in 2009 and 2017. It will undergo further refurbishments in anticipation of Afcon 2023.
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.
Stade de Paix, Bouaké (40,000)
Located in the central city of Bouaké, the second-largest in Ivory Coast, the Stade de Paix was constructed for Afcon 1984 and is undergoing renovation prior to Afcon 2023, overseen by Mota-Engil, a Portuguese construction company.
The Stade de la Paix hosted seven games at the African Cup of Nations in 1984, including the third-place match.
The stadium gained infamy through the testimonies of Bouaké residents who alleged that it was used as an execution site by the New Forces during the country's civil war.
In 2007, the stadium hosted a match of enormous significance, with the Ivory Coast vs Madagascar fixture being part of the Ouagadougou Agreement to assert peace in the country. This defines the stadium's names: Stadium of the Peace.
The Stade de Paix now serves as the home ground for three major clubs: ASC Bouaké, Alliance Bouaké and Bouaké FC. The city has a population of 740,000.
A major renovation was undertaken in 2007 and a further renovation from 2018-2020 and in 2023. The stadium is now the second-largest in the country with the capacity increased from 25,000 to 40,000 and the plans have involved removing the athletics track and adding a roof.
Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium, Korhogo (20,000)
Construction began on the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium in 2018 in anticipation of the Africa Cup of Nations. It has a capacity of 20,000 and is another stadium to benefit from Chinese investment into Africa, with the China National Building Material acting as general contractor.
The stadium is owned by the Ivory Coast government and situated in Korhogo, in the north of the country. Korhogo is the fourth-largest city in Ivory Coast and the largest in the north.
It is named after a former Prime Minister, Amado Gon Coulibaly, who came from the north of the country.
Construction was completed in the summer of 2023, later than anticipated but well in time for Afcon 2023 in January 2024. It looks fantastic.
— African Soccer Updates (@Africansoccerup) March 28, 2022
Laurent Pokou Stadium, San Pedro (20,000)
In the southwestern city of San Pédro, the Laurent Pokou Stadium was constructed for Afcon 2023, with building work beginning in September 2018 and being completed exactly five years later.
The first match at the Laurent Pokou Stadium was between Ivory Coast national team and Lesotho. The home side won 1-0 in the Afcon 2023 qualifier.
Built by the China Civil Engineering Construction Company, the Laurent Pokou Stadium is owned by the Ivory Coast government and has a 20,000 capacity.
#CRCCFocus The Laurent Pokou Stadium in Côte d'Ivoire, built by @CCECC8, was officially inaugurated last week. 🇨🇮🏟️With 24,000 ㎡ and a 20,000-seat capacity, it is a major venue for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. ⚽️
👇Click to take a virtual tour of this incredible venue! pic.twitter.com/gaBxXVWmKY
— China Railway Construction Corporation (@CRCCNews) September 13, 2023
The ground is a fantastic addition to the sporting community in the south of the country. It is named in honour of iconic Ivorian striker, Laurent Pokou, who represented the national team from 1967 until 1980, scoring 21 goals in 30 games. He was twice the top goalscorer at Afcon and only Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o has scored more goals in total at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Charles Konan Banny Stadium, Yamoussoukro (20,000)
Opened in June 2022, the Charles Konan Banny Stadium is located in Yamoussoukro (240km of Abidjan) and was built at a cost of around £60 million.
The stadium was completed in 2021 but its inauguration was delayed by some concerns over security. As a result, the Ivory Coast national team did not play here untul June 2022 when they beat Zambia 2-1 in the inaugural match.
The ground is named after the country's former Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny, who died from COVID-19 aged 78. It will serve as home to Gambia's group matches in Afcon 2023.
Full list of AFCON stadiums in 2023
What stadiums are in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations?
|Alassane Ouattara Stadium||Abidjan||60,000|
|Stade de Paix||Bouaké||40,000|
|Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium||Korhogo||20,000|
|Laurent Pokou Stadium||San Pedro||20,000|
|Charles Konan Banny Stadium||Yamoussoukro||20,000|
Afcon 2023 draw