ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Ivory Coast has agreed to host the African Cup of Nations tournament in 2023 instead of 2021 after the head of the continent’s soccer body met with Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara to broker a deal.
It allows the Confederation of African Football to re-shuffle the next four African Cup hosts so that Cameroon, which was stripped of the right to hold this year’s tournament, can now stage the event in 2021. Ivory Coast will delay its hosting by two years and Guinea, initially chosen as 2023 host, will have the tournament in 2025.
CAF announced the arrangement on Wednesday after the soccer body’s head, Ahmad, met with Ouattara and other Ivory Coast government officials. Ahmad, who goes by one name, also previously met with the presidents of Cameroon and Guinea.
The agreement appears to have avoided a legal challenge by the Ivory Coast Football Federation, whose officials were angered when Ahmad announced Cameroon as 2021 host without first getting the Ivorians’ approval.
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Cameroon lost the 2019 tournament because of poor preparations and security concerns but has been appeased by the chance to host in two years. Egypt will be the stand-in host for this year’s African Cup, which is in June and July and is the first to be increased from 16 to 24 teams.
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