Africa News Bulletin

Ivory Coast Ready to Welcome Africa for 2023 AFCON.

Ivory Coast anticipates hosting a successful 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, fostering a warm reception for visitors in the coming month. The tournament is set to commence on January 13th, with the opening and final matches held in Abidjan, the nation’s financial center.

Ghislain Konan, an Ivory Coast international player currently based in Saudi Arabia, expressed immense pride in hosting the event. “It will go very well,” Konan assured, emphasizing the country’s hospitality. “We will truly welcome the visitors who’ll come to our home and also show them that we are a great country.”

Recently, the Ivorian government announced plans to enlist 20,000 volunteers to help occupy stadiums during the matches. The tournament, moved from June-July to January-February to avoid the rainy season, will span five cities: Abidjan, Bouake, San Pedro, Korhogo, and Yamoussoukro.

With varied stadium capacities across these cities, including a 60,000-capacity venue in Abidjan, the initiative aims to ensure vibrant and filled arenas during the competition.

In a new development, officials reported that a portion of the volunteers would support non-Ivorian teams, marking an unprecedented move. Toure Nimba, a sports ministry official, highlighted that efforts are underway to engage local communities, school children, and volunteers to ensure full stadiums even during matches not involving the home team.

Historically, Nations Cup matches not featuring the host nation often saw low turnouts. Organizers aim to replicate the successful attendance witnessed during Cameroon’s hosting of the 2021 edition and hope Ivory Coast will follow suit.

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