AFCON 2023: Stadiums of the tournament

source:; author: Paulina Skóra

 AFCON 2023: Stadiums of the tournament Today the Africa Cup of Nations, hosted by Ivory Coast, begins . Due to weather issues, the tournament was moved from June 2023 to January 2024. Six stadiums were selected for the AFCON, where 24 teams will compete in less than a month. In the opening match, the host team will face Guinea-Bissau. Let's get to know the venues that will be the arenas for this edition of the tournament.


Presidents' Stadiums...

Let's start with the stadium where both the opening and final matches of the tournament will take place, namely Stade Alassane Ouattara, located 10 km from Abidjan. The facility was inaugurated in 2020 with the intention of hosting the Africa Cup of Nations in 2021. However, Ivory Coast agreed to let Cameroon host that edition in exchange for hosting the next edition of the tournament. The construction lasted four years, and the cost of the stadium and surrounding infrastructure is estimated at $260 million. China contributed a significant part of this amount as a gift for the 30th anniversary of their trade cooperation in 2013. Designed and built by Chinese companies, the stadium resembles National Stadium in Beijing. The stadium, named after the current president of Ivory Coast, can accommodate 60,012 spectators. A total of 10 matches will be played there during AFCON 2023, including 6 group stage matches and 4 in the knockout stage.


Stade National de la Côte d’Ivoire© Présidence de la République de Côte d’Ivoire

Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny will also host 10 matches. The stadium in Abidjan, also known as Le Félicia, is named after the country's first president in history. The final of the Africa Cup of Nations took place at this venue in 1984. The last renovation was in 2021, and it has a seating capacity of 33,000. Several years ago, two serious incidents occurred at this stadium: on March 29, 2009, before a World Cup qualifying match between Ivory Coast and Malawi, a gate collapsed, causing panic. In January 2013, another panic occurred after a New Year's Eve event, resulting in numerous casualties. Both incidents led to fatalities and injuries.

... and Prime Mnisters'

Two stadiums hosting matches in this edition of the Africa Cup of Nations are named after the prime ministers of Ivory Coast. Stade Charles Konan Banny is one of the main sports facilities in the capital, Yamoussoukro. The new stadium, with a capacity of 20,000 seats, completed its construction in May 2022 and hosted an important match just a few days after opening. Ivory Coast faced Zambia in a qualifying match for the Africa Cup of Nations. In the coming days, it will be the venue for 6 group stage matches and 2 in the knockout stage. 

Stade Charles Konan Banny© HONORE BOSSON (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Stade Amadou Gon Coulibaly in Korhogo was officially opened in November 2023. Alongside San-Pedro, it hosted the 2023 Women's Champions League. The stadium has a football and rugby field, fully covered stands with a capacity of 20,000 seats, and an athletics track. It will host 7 matches in this edition of AFCON. The city also has four training centers.

Fire of Peace and Ivory Coast’s Legend

Another arena for AFCON is Stade de la Paix in Bouaké. This stadium was built for the Africa Cup of Nations in 1984 and underwent extensive renovations in 2019 to host the tournament again in 2023. The current capacity is around 40,000, and 9 matches will be played there during AFCON 2023. In late July 2007, the stadium hosted the "Fire of Peace" ceremony, symbolically ending the crisis in Ivory Coast. Hence the current name, which refers to the occasion. 

Stade Laurent Pokou© HONORE BOSSON (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The last arena for AFCON 2023 is Stade Laurent Pokou in San-Pédro with a capacity of 20,000 seats. The stadium was opened in 2023 for the tournament and will host 8 matches. It is named after Laurent Pokou, a football legend from Ivory Coast who scored 14 goals in AFCON (a record until 2008). Although the stadium was just opened, it has already hosted several matches of the Women's Champions League and the last qualifying match for the Africa Cup of Nations between Ivory Coast and Lesotho. After the tournament, it will be used by several teams from San-Pedro, which previously had to play their home matches in other cities. Investments were also made in training facilities for teams participating in AFCON.

You can check out all the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations arenas on our YouTube channel: