AFCON: The Jewel of Africa
The Africa Cup of Nations also known as AFCON is possibly Africa’s biggest football festival. Hosted by Cote d’Ivoire for the second time, the 34th edition of AFCON is halfway done and throwing up quite some surprises. We take a step away from the footballing action at AFCON to understand its unspoken business side
AFCON: The Crown Jewel
The Monies behind AFCON 2023
It has been reported in BBC Sport Africa that Ivory Coast have invested around $1bn with respect to hosting AFCON 2023. The investment includes aa shiny new 60,000-seater stadium on the outskirts of Abidjan costing approximately $260mn, upgrading several other stadiums the other four venues, building infrastructures like new bridges, upgrading hotels and roads with the expectation of a boosted tourism in the month-long event. The Ivory Coast is position itself as a tourism destination and aims to establish tourism as the third pillar of its economy with a target of attracting 5m foreign tourists per year and creating 700,000 jobs in the sector by 2025
In January 2024 CAF announced that there will be a 40% increase in prize money for the winners of AFCON 2023 along with an increase for all competitors reaching quarter final stages.
- Winner of the tournament to receive $5million
- Runners-up $2.75million
- Semi-finalists $2.2million
- Quarter-finalists $1.175m
Prize Money Breakdown
AFCON is a key event organized by CAF and possibly the highest commercial revenue generator. In 2023, CAF recorded commercial revenues of $125.2mn. Close to 43% of the commercial revenues, $54.25mn was recorded in AFCON 2021. It is expected that AFCON 2023 will exceed that amount. In 2023 alone, CAF announced 12 new partners and have a tiered partnership structure, as given in the adjoining chart.
Commercial Partners: CAF/AFCON 2023
TotalEnergies is the principal partner, signed a 8 year agreement in 2016 for a reported fee of $250mn. Another long standing partner has been 1XBet, the Russian betting company who signed a 10-year agreement for a reported fee of $65.4mn
(Data source: AFCON Overveiw, ASUNIFIED)
Kit Sponsor in AFCON 2023
Kit partnership for the 24 teams is as varied as can be having 18 apparel brands between them. In 2021, there was 16 brands!
Puma with 6 teams bags the largest team share followed by Umbro at 2 teams
AFCON Impact in European Leagues
AFCON is probably best understood when one looks at the impact of players missing in the European Leagues. As per a report from KPMG in 2021, there are over 500 footballers in European leagues with Senegal, Morocco and Nigeria having the highest number of players. The number probably is higher now
Why is this important? Look at the chart below to see the number of African players representing their respective countries in AFCON 2023 and will therefore be missing in Europe
African Talent Pool in Big Five Leagues
That makes a total of 182 African players or almost 30% of the total players playing in AFCON 2023
The impact of African players in European football is immense and that makes AFCON one of the most important tournaments to watch out for.
And not to miss out on Saudi Pro League who will miss as many as 25 players as they play in AFCON 2023!
AFCON might just be the most important tournament to showcase the culmination of talent and create awareness of its vast pool of football players for the rest of the world. For the people of Africa, it is uniting, it brings them together for a month of celebration of the best footballing talent that the continent offers and of course, a huge set of economic benefits expected for the host country
Image source: Goal.com