Opening Ceremony during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations Final match between Cote dIvoire and Guinea Bissau at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan, Cote dIvoire ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
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AFCON: AKWABA! Electrifying opening ceremony brings crowd, fans to their feet

"The electrifying opening ceremony thrilled the 60,000 fans who quaked the Alassane Ouattara Stadium to its foundation.Fans on the street of Abidjan were bouncing and dancing to every musical artist who performed"

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The opening ceremony of the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast was spectacular; dancing, singing, and emphasis on the beautiful African cultural display marked the start of the biggest and most expensive continental football competition.

The electrifying opening ceremony thrilled the 60,000 fans who quaked the Alassane Ouattara Stadium to its foundation. Fans on the streets of Abidjan were bouncing and dancing to every musical artist who performed.

The vibration from the ceremony sent shivers down the spines of the 24 teams, who are competing for the biggest trophy and cash cash prize on the continent.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced a 40 percent increase in prize money for the winners.

According to the statement published on the website of the football governing body, the winners of the tournament will receive $7 million, $2 million more than the reward doled out at the last edition in Cameroon.

The runners-up of the African football showpiece event will now get $4 million, while each of the two semi-finalists will receive $2.5 million, with each of the four quarter-finalists taking home $1.3 million.

The stakes are high, with football lovers sceptical about Cote d’Ivoire hosting and winning the competition.

Out of the 33 editions of the AFCON held over 46 years, the host nation has lifted the trophy 11 times, representing 33 percent of the tournament winners.

The last host nation to reach the AFCON finals was Egypt, which won the title on home soil in 2006.

Egypt has reached the AFCON final in five of the last six tournaments that the country participated in, winning in 2006, 2008, and 2010, while they were runners-up in 2017 and the 2021 edition.

Côte d’Ivoire are hosting the CAF Africa Cup of Nations for the second time, 40 years after it was initially held in the country in 1984.

Cameroon won the title, while Côte d’Ivoire were knocked out in the group stages

 

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