AFCON 2023 Stadium Showcase

The Africa Cup of Nations is the Continent’s biggest football event and is set to kick off on Saturday, 13 January. Hosted by Côte d’Ivoire, the AFCON 2023 will take place in six stadiums. We take a look at the venues in this article. According to CAFOnline, the stadiums include: Olympic Stadium of Ebimpe, Felix Houphoeut-Boigny Stadium, Peace Stadium, Stadium of Korhogo, Laurent Pokou Stadium and Charles Konan Banny Stadium, all in the host country.

Let’s dive right into them below:

Olympic Stadium of Ebimpe

This stadium is in Abidjan, one of the country’s biggest cities. The opening and closing ceremony of the tournament will take place there. It has a capacity of approximately 60 000 seats. After AFCON, the ground will be used as the main stadium for Ivory Coast’s national teams.

Apart from being able to host a large number of people, the Olympic Stadium is a versatile venue with top-notch features. These include an athletics track, conference spaces, gyms, an auditorium and VIP facilities. 

Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium

The Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium is named after Cote d’Ivoire’s first president and founder. The stadium hosted the AFCON final in 1984, which was the last time the tournament was hosted in the nation. 

Since then, the stadium has been used for events like the 2009 African Championship of Nations and the 2017 Jeux de la Francophonie. 

The seating capacity for this stadium has doubled to 33 000 ahead of the tournament, along with other facility upgrades to the venue. 

Peace Stadium

The stadium holds a capacity of around 40 000 and is situated in Bouake. One of the most memorable moments at this stadium is the thrilling semi-final penalty victory against Algeria in the AFCON 1984, where Cameroon ultimately won the championship. 

Peace Stadium has since been upgraded with a fully equipped media centre, auditorium and other facilities to accommodate thousands of expected fans. 

Stadium of Korhogo

The stadium was named in remembrance of the late Côte d’Ivoire prime minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly. It is among the four recently constructed venues which was officially opened in November 2023. 

Korhogo stadium was part of the hosting locations for the 2023 Women’s Champions League tournament, alongside San-Pedro. 

With a capacity of 20 000, the stadium which is located in Korhogo, features a football-rugby field and other stadium facilities required for hosting international events like AFCON. 

Laurent Pokou Stadium

This one is situated in San Pedro, has a 20 000-seating capacity and was built from 2019 to 2023. It has hosted several women’s champions league matches and the last match of the AFCON qualification between Cote d’Ivoire and Lesotho. 

The stadium is named after Laurent Pokou, the legendary Ivorian footballer who scored 14 goals at AFCON, holding the record until 2008 until the record was broken by Samuel Eto’o.

One of the fascinating things about this icon is that his name also graces the official match ball used in the tournaments.

Charles Konan Banny Stadium

Located in the capital city, Yamoussoukro, this newly built stadium has a seating capacity of 20 000. The stadium is now a notable addition to the city’s monumental architecture, and it is expected to contribute to the economic vibrancy of the city even after the tournament. 

The stadium hosted its first football match against Zambia, where the hosts secured a 3-1 victory at the grand opening. It is equipped with an athletics track, media facilities, hospitality suites and conference centres.

Written by: Nobuhle Mtshali