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AFCON 2023: Laurent Pokou Stadium, a Splendid Venue for Morocco and DR Congo Clash

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The newly constructed Laurent Pokou Stadium in San Pedro, Ivory Coast, stands as a symbol of architectural excellence and football heritage, ready to host the clash between Morocco and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the upcoming AFCON 2023.

Named in homage to the iconic Ivorian footballer Laurent N’dri Pokou, the multidimensional stadium, built over four years and seven months, is a testament to Ivory Coast’s commitment to international sporting standards.

The rectangular-shaped stadium, spread across more than 23 hectares, boasts a meticulously crafted infrastructure, including a natural grass pitch measuring 105m by 68m.

Commencing in February 2019, the construction endeavors embraced state-of-the-art facilities such as equipped player locker rooms, numerous public toilets, four elevators, medical facilities, a media room, fully covered stands, and well-lit parking areas. With 10 access points for the general public and designated entries for organizers, the Laurent Pokou Stadium is a beacon of modern sports architecture.

Situated in the coastal town of San Pedro, 350 km from Abidjan, the stadium officially opened its doors on September 8, 2023. In addition to its significant role in the upcoming AFCON 2023, the stadium’s construction has rekindled the passion for football in the region, providing thousands of direct and indirect jobs.

The venue’s nomenclature pays tribute to Laurent N’dri Pokou, the revered Ivorian striker and leading goal-scorer in the history of the AFCON, who passed away in 2016.

The stadium, with a seating capacity of 20,000, comes at an estimated cost of over 41 billion CFA francs (approximately 62.5 million euros), entirely financed by the Ivorian State.

Having successfully hosted a match between the Ivory Coast national team and Lesotho during the AFCON 2023 qualifiers, the Laurent Pokou Stadium demonstrated its prowess.

Following this, the stadium accommodated Group B of the African Women’s Champions League from November 5 to 19, further validating its capabilities.

San Pedro, with its favorable climatic and geological conditions, boasts a thriving economy as the world’s leading cocoa exporting port.

The city, well-equipped with modern amenities, urban transport, telecommunications, and a variety of dining options, also serves as a picturesque seaside resort with over 150 kilometers of developed beaches and a hotel system boasting 500 rooms across 31 hotels.

As the anticipation for AFCON 2023 builds, the Laurent Pokou Stadium is poised to host an unforgettable clash between Morocco and DR Congo, showcasing the best of African football in this stunning setting.

 

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