The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced the dates for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Finals tournament to be held in Ivory Coast next year.
In a statement issued on Thursday, March 30, Veron Mosengo-Omba, the CAF general secretary, confirmed the tournament will be played between January 13 and February 11, 2024.
Hosts Ivory Coast, Algeria, Senegal, South Africa and Morocco have so far qualified for the 2023 AFCON Finals. The qualifiers are scheduled to end in September, 2023.
The Uganda Cranes are still among the teams battling for qualification following their 1-0 win over Tanzania in Group F on Tuesday, March 28.
Rogers Mato scored the lone goal for the Cranes to win in Dar es Salaam and revived the hopes of making it out of the group as runners-up.
With this victory, the Cranes leapt to third position, with four points from four games. Second-placed Tanzania Taifa Stars are also on four points but boost of a better goal-difference. Niger are bottom of the group with two points, one of which they got from a 1-1 draw with the Cranes at Kitende last year.
Group leaders, Algeria (with 12 points from four games), have already secured their place at the 2023 AFCON Finals tournament due in Ivory Coast next year.
That means Tanzania and Uganda will fight for the runners-up spot in Group F, with the Cranes remaining games against Algeria (home) and Niger (away) due in June and September respectively.
Tanzania will host Niger in June in Dar es Salaam and wind up the campaign against Algeria in Algiers.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, March 30, local football governing body, FUFA, president Moses Magogo said Cranes’ coach Milutin Micho Sredojevic will stay on until the end of the qualifiers.
Before Tuesday’s victory over Tanzania, Micho was under pressure due to Cranes’ unconvincing performance in the AFCON qualifiers.
“All positions of the football National Teams are vacant with the exception of the Uganda Cranes. For the Senior National Team, assessment will be done after the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign,” Magogo stated.
Meanwhile, state minister for sports Peter Ogwang assured Parliament on March 30 that the Nelson Mandela National stadium, Namboole will be ready to host Uganda Cranes’ home match against Algeria on June 12.
The stadium is undergoing renovation and construction upgrade to meet the requirements of CAF for hosting AFCON qualifiers. The Cranes hosted their recent home against Tanzania in Egypt.