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Preparations are ongoing for the 34th edition of the continental tournament which will be staged in the West African country

Only one stadium has been approved ready for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations as Cote d’Ivoire continue to build three new stadiums while two are under renovation.

Newly-built Ebimpe Olymic Stadium, which was opened in October, is the only stadium passed ready with a capacity of more than 60,000 seats.

Renovation works will start at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in January 2021 to install metal roofs while the Peace Stadium in Bouake is currently ongoing an overhaul to increase its capacity from 25,000 to 40,000 seats by the end of 2021.

The constructions of the Yamoussoukro Stadium, Poro Stadium and Stade San Pedro are still in progress, and they are expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

Earlier this month, a Caf inspection delegation led by Deputy General Secretary Anthony Baffoe visited Cote d’Ivoire to check the level of preparation for the tournament which will take place in June 2023.

Baffoe expressed satisfaction with the work done so far and he is confident the constructions will be completed before the deadline.

“Cote d’Ivoire is a country that I know very well. The visit was well orchestrated. We are very satisfied with the way the inspection visit went, and with the work done by the Local Organizing Committee (LOC),” Baffoe told the Caf website.

“For us, infrastructure and access routes are very important, and this is what interested us in each city. We first landed in Abidjan and in the next day we went to Korhogo. We drove from for three hours Korhogo to Bouaké without encountering any problem. From Bouaké, we continued to Yamoussoukro. After Yamoussoukro, we returned to Abidjan where we spent two days.

“In the capital we visited all the stadiums and hotels, and we also held a feedback meeting with the LOC. We also met the Minister of Sports. The delegation visited the family of Sidy Diallo (late President of the Ivorian Football Federation who died on 21 November) to show our respect for the illustrious deceased.

“This is how the inspection visit went. There are details to be perfected in various stages, but my message is clear: We are happy with what we saw. Meeting deadlines will also be important.”

Ivory Coast will host the continent event for a second time in history having previously staged the Afcon tournament in 1984.

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December 18, 2020
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