The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has recently released the dates for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Championship. The kickoff ceremony will take place on January 13, 2024, while the final will be held in Ivory Coast on February 11, 2024. CAF is anticipating record turnouts and viewership for the tournament due to Africa’s improving status in world football.

Although seven countries have already qualified, including Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Senegal, and Ivory Coast, Nigeria is still fighting for a spot in the tournament after losing to Guinea Bissau at home. Despite a win in the return leg, Nigeria needs at least one more point from their remaining two games to secure their place in the final tournament.

The timing of the tournament has been a point of concern for European club chiefs who may lose players during the winter break or crucial games if they play in the Premier League. Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentis had previously threatened to stop signing players from African countries if the tournament persisted with a January calendar, and it remains to be seen whether he will follow through on his promise.