By Beng Emmanuel

Sports Writer,

CAF President, Ahmad Ahmad says he is ‘optimistic’ and ‘assured’ that, the 2023 African Cup of Nations will be staged although it will be played barely a year after the rescheduled 2021 AFCON to 2022 in Cameroon.

Ivory Coast won the bid to organise the event in 2021 after CAF Executive Committee meeting of September 2014, but will host the event in 2023.

The President of the regulatory body of African football revealed during a virtual press conference shortly after CAF Executive Committee meeting of June 30. He is ‘certain’ the 24 nation tournament will take place but noted the Executive Committee and himself will properly observe the situation which will enable them take a final decision.

After Tuesday’s resolutions, they have been plenty of suggestions the biennial football event cannot be appropriately organised given the short notice.

Despite these worries, CAF supremo is convinced successive AFCON finals can be realised.

In 2012, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea jointly hosted the AFCON ,while South Africa staged the competition a year later in 2013. Consequently, organising successive AFCON tournaments is not a novelty for CAF, the former Madagascar Football Federation president stated.

“We maintained it because it is not the first time that CAF has organised successive competitions. Remember 2012/2013.”

“So I think we will continue in that direction with our partner, and host country”

Ahmad added: “I don’t like speculation in life. I will expect to see all the elements to make decisions with my executive committee and communicate to those concerned. We’ll see. God willing, we will meet here in 2023 and we will see if it would be possible or not”

“I can reassure you that I am always very optimistic about the organization of African football, I am certain that there will be an AFCON in 2023. I don’t know when but we will”

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Ivory Coast will host the continental football jamboree for the second time. They won the bid to host the event in 2021.

However, in November 2018, Cameroon was striped off hosting the 2019 AFCON but accepted to host the 2021 event. Consequently, Ivory Coast, initial host of the 2021 tournament were awarded the right to stage the competition in 2023. Guinea also shifted from 2023 to 2025.

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