Excitement as Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea kick off AFCON 2023

Excitement as Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea kick off AFCON 2023

The 34th Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) commenced today, featuring the host nation, the Elephants of Ivory Coast, facing off against Guinea-Bissau in the opening match. This football extravaganza, which runs through February 11, brings together twenty-four teams representing the finest football-playing nations in Africa. The tournament is spread across Abidjan and five other designated Ivorian cities.

Origins and Growth of AFCON:

Originating in 1957 with just three participating nations, AFCON has evolved into Africa’s premier football event. Initially, Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia took part, with South Africa disqualified due to apartheid policies. Since 1968, AFCON has been held biennially, transitioning to odd-numbered years in 2013.

Over the years, the tournament has experienced substantial growth, expanding from 12 to 16 participating countries in 1996. In 2017, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) increased the finalists further to 24, enhancing the competition’s scope and intensity.

AFCON Records and Notable Achievements:

Egypt stands as the most successful nation in AFCON history, securing seven titles. This includes an unprecedented three consecutive victories in 2006, 2008, and 2010. Cameroon follows with five titles, while Ghana holds a distant third place with four.

In the 2022 final, Senegal emerged victorious by defeating Egypt in a nail-biting penalty shootout, claiming their first AFCON title. As the reigning champions, Senegal aims to defend their title in the 2023 edition.

Beyond Sports: Cultural Showcase and Tourism:

AFCON not only serves as a platform for showcasing football prowess but also provides a window to exhibit African culture and tourism. With thousands of visitors and a global television audience of nearly one billion, the tournament sparks excitement in Ivory Coast and resonates across the continent.

Economic Impact and Broadcast Rights:

The 2023 AFCON is expected to be the most lucrative to date, with television networks worldwide securing broadcasting rights. The increased viewership reflects positively on the prize money, with the winner receiving $7 million and other consolation prizes.

Noteworthy Records and Anticipated Moments:

As the tournament kicks off, records set by legendary players are sure to be challenged. Egypt’s Samuel Eto’o remains the all-time top scorer with 18 goals across six tournaments, while Pierre Ndaye Mulamba holds the record for the most goals in a single tournament.

Excitement for AFCON 2023:

The anticipation surrounding AFCON 2023 has been palpable across Ivory Coast and the entire continent. The event not only provides a platform for talented African youths to shine but also symbolizes unity, pride, and celebration of the continent’s football heritage.


As the 34th AFCON unfolds, football enthusiasts eagerly await memorable moments, outstanding performances, and a celebration of African football. The tournament’s rich history, coupled with the promise of exciting matches and cultural showcases, ensures that AFCON 2023 will be a remarkable chapter in the annals of African football. Let the games begin!


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