By Johnny Edward
The President of the Confederation of Africa Football, Patrice Motsepe, says President Bola Tinubu will attend the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations final in Ivory Coast.
Nigeria and hosts Ivory Coast clash in the final of the competition at the Alassanne Ouattara Stadium, Ebimpe, Abidjan, on Sunday.
Motsepe made this known during a press conference on Friday at the Palace de la Culture in Trechville, Abidjan, after he was asked when Africa could host the World Cup again.
He said, “Nigeria must put in a bid. The Nigerian president (Bola Tinubu) is coming to watch the final on Sunday. I will have a conversation with him about it.”
Vice President Kashim Shettima was in attendance when the Eagles defeated South Africa 4-2 on penalties in the semi-finals on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Motsepe has refused to confirm the dates of the next AFCON, due to take place in 2025.
“The focus for all of us now is Ivory Coast,” Motsepe said.
“There are a lot of competing events at the same time but we are confident that it is indeed going to be around that time,” Motsepe added when asked if the competition would go ahead in 2025 as planned.
“We have to accommodate other competing competitions but the AFCON next year is going to be an immense success and we will make further announcements in due course.”
The tournament normally takes place every two years, but the current edition was delayed by six months due to fears over a clash with the rainy season in West Africa.
However, staging the next edition in Morocco next year presents various problems.
Holding it in January and February leaves little time to stage a qualifying competition, with FIFA-sanctioned dates in June already given over to qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup.
The Moroccan federation this week issued a statement in which it claimed the tournament would take place in “summer 2025.”
However, playing it in June and July would mean a clash with FIFA’s expanded Club World Cup, which is due to take place in North America.
Yet it may be impossible to delay until 2026, given that the first 48-team World Cup will be played that year, also in North America.