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9 Must-Know Facts About AFCON 2024

The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2024 is set to ignite the footballing world with thrilling action, intense competition, and vibrant cultural celebrations.

Here are nine must-know facts that promise to make this tournament an unforgettable spectacle:

1. Ivory Coast Hosts the Show: Get ready for vibrant orange! The 34th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) kicks off in the Ivory Coast on June 23rd, 2024. Brace yourself for an electrifying atmosphere and passionate fans in six magnificent stadiums across the country.

2. Expanded Format, More Thrills: AFCON 2024 welcomes 24 teams for the first time, up from 16 in the previous tournament. This means more matches, more upsets, and potentially even more unexpected heroes emerging from the continent’s footballing landscape.

3. Familiar Faces, Rising Stars: Witness established stars like Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, and Riyad Mahrez light up the tournament alongside the next generation of African footballing talent. Keep an eye out for breakout players who could become household names!

4. Title Chase Heats Up: Algeria are the defending champions, but the hunt for the ultimate trophy is wide open. Senegal, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Ivory Coast itself are among the heavyweights aiming to dethrone the Desert Foxes.

5. Beyond the Pitch: AFCON 2024 is more than just football. It’s a celebration of African culture, music, and unity. Expect dazzling opening and closing ceremonies, vibrant fan zones, and opportunities to experience the rich diversity of the Ivory Coast.

6. Record Prize Money: This year’s AFCON boasts the highest prize money in the tournament’s history, with the champions receiving a whopping $7 million, a 40% increase from the previous edition. This incentive is sure to add even more drama and competitiveness to the competition.

7. Host City Highlights: Expand on the details of the six venues across five cities. Briefly mention unique aspects of each stadium, like the newly-built Ebimpe Olympic Stadium in Abidjan or the coastal location of San Pedro. This gives readers a sense of the geographical spread and diversity of the tournament.

8. Star Manager Showdown: Highlight the presence of top European coaches like Morocco’s Walid Regragui and Egypt’s Rui Vitoria alongside established African tacticians like Senegal’s Aliou Cisse. This international blend of managerial expertise adds another layer of intrigue to the competition.

9. South Africa’s Return: Briefly mention the return of South Africa to the AFCON after missing the 2023 edition. Their presence, backed by the talented players from Mamelodi Sundowns, adds another element of unpredictability and potential upset victories.