With less than five days to kick off Africa’s biggest football event, the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations, hosted by Cote d’Ivoire, begins Friday.
PUNCH Online reports that the AFCON 2023 will take place in six stadiums.
According to CAFOnline, they include: Olympic Stadium of Ebimpe, Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Peace Stadium, Stadium of Korhogo, Laurent Pokou Stadium, and Charles Konan Banny Stadium, all in the host country.
Here is all you need to know about the six stadiums:
Olympic Stadium of Ebimpe
The 60,000-capacity stadium is situated in Abidjan and was built from 2016 to 2020.
Located in one of the country’s economic hubs, the city of Abidjan, the Olympic Stadium of Epimbe will play host to the opening and closing ceremonies of the tournament.
The 60,000-seater capacity arena headlines one of many infrastructure legacies of the tournament for the host nation and will bring several economic opportunities after the final whistle is sounded.
The construction of the world-class venue began in 2016 with the breaking of ground for the multi-purpose venue.
It was then officially inaugurated on October 3, 2020, in a ceremony attended by senior government ministers and officials before an exhibition match between two of the nation’s biggest clubs, Asec Mimosas and Africa Sports Abidjan.
In addition to its large hosting capacity, the Olympic Stadium is a multi-purpose venue that boasts many world-class amenities, such as an athletic track, conference facilities, gyms, an auditorium, and VIP facilities.
Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium
The 29,000-capacity stadium is situated in Abidjan and was built in 1952. It was renovated between 2021 and 2023.
Named after the founder of Cote d’Ivoire and the nation’s first Head of State, President Felix Houphouet-Boigny, one of the country’s heritage venues will play host to Africa’s biggest event for the second time, having been one of the two host venues back in 1984.
In line with meeting the required CAF standards, the stadium is undergoing complete renovations to its structural set-up, seating, pitch, dressing rooms, and hospitality suites.
The seating capacity has doubled to 33,000 ahead of the tournament, along with other facility upgrades to the venue.
In addition to football, the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium boasts an athletic track and has also hosted some major sporting codes and events in Abidjan.
The 40,000-capacity stadium is situated in Bouake and was built in 1983. It was renovated between 2019 and 2023.
One of Cote d’Ivoire’s most iconic football stadiums, the Peace Stadium, located in the nation’s second-largest city of Bouake, will be hosting its second TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations after being one of the host venues back in 1984.
One of the venue’s most memorable events includes the dramatic semi-final 5-4 penalty win by Cameroon against Algeria in the 1984 TotalEnergies AFCON, where the Indomitable Lions went on to claim the title.
The stadium has since received a major facelift from its original 15 000 to the now 40 000 capacity seating, among other upgrades ahead of the tournament.
Additional upgrades include a fully equipped media centre, auditorium, conference facilities, and an upgraded spectator parking facility to accommodate the thousands of expected fans.
Stadium of Korhogo
The 20,000-capacity stadium is situated in Korhogo and was built from 2019 to 2023.
Located in the northern part of Cote D’Ivoire’s city of Korhogo, the Stadium of Korhogo is one of the legacies that will come with hosting an international event of the magnitude of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Cote D’Ivoire 2023.
The newly built stadium will cover a vast 20.17 hectares of land to add to the aesthetic beauty of the city.
The hosting capacity will be 20,000, with a quality natural grass field, an athletics track, a media centre, a broadcast compound, as well as other stadium facilities required for hosting international events such as the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations.
Laurent Pokou Stadium
The 20,000-capacity stadium is situated in San Pedro and was built from 2019 to 2023.
An architectural beauty located in the rich cultural region of Poro, the San Pedro Stadium also forms part of the infrastructure legacy of hosting the TotalEnergies AFCON Cote d’Ivoire 2023.
With construction starting in 2018, the 20,000-seater is poised to be a jewel for the Poro region.
Covering 23.33 hectares of land, the stadium’s elegant design will be complemented by its world-class facilities, which include a state-of-the-art natural grass pitch, conference centres, a media centre, and other facilities that will drive economic activity after the final whistle is sounded.
Charles Konan Banny Stadium
The 20,000-capacity stadium is situated in Yamoussoukro and was built in 2019–2021.
Located in the nation’s capital, Yamoussoukro, which is constantly abuzz with economic activity, the newly built Yamoussoukro Stadium forms part of the city’s monumental architecture and will add to the city’s economic hub of activity after the tournament.
After a two-year construction, the stadium hosted its first football match on June 3, which served as a qualifier for the TotalEnergies AFCON Cote d’Ivoire 2023 finals as the hosts edged Zambia 3-1 at the grand opening.
The Yamoussoukro Stadium has a seating capacity of 20,000, an athletics track, media facilities, hospitality suites, and conference centres.
PUNCH Online reports that the official title sponsor of the AFCON 2023 is Total Energies.