Cote d’Ivoire and Morocco played an international friendly match at the newly renovated Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast, this weekend. The stadium underwent renovations recently and is state-of-the-art. The teams drew 1-1 in the match.
The legendary Félix Houphouet-Boigny reopened its doors this past weekend, marking an important turning point in the buildup to the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023.
The international friendly was used as the test match for the venue.
Senior government officials, the Vice-Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, and esteemed guests, including FIF President Idriss Yacine Diallo and officials from CAF, graced the venue’s re-opening.
Large numbers flocked to the iconic stadium, showing their excitement, as football enthusiasts recalled the moment when 24-year-old Didier Drogba made his debut for Les Elephants in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in September 2002.
Group B teams will play their matches at the stadium named after Cote d’Ivoire’s first President, Felix Houphouet Boigny, during the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023. Egypt, Ghana, Cape Verde, and Mozambique are included in these teams.
The opening and final matches of the 1984 Africa Cup of Nations took place at the venue in Cote d’Ivoire. The first edition of the African Nations Championship was also hosted by it in 2009.
Thousands of passionate fans filled every corner of the renovated “Felicia,” affectionately known as the oldest stadium in Cote d’Ivoire. They wore the Ivorian colours of orange and white, while a section of Moroccans wore their famous red and white strips.
The world-famous music group Magic System, best known for their worldwide hit song “Premier Gaou,” pleased fans by singing the official hymn for the competition alongside Egyptian musician Mohamed Ramadan.
The host country made a significant investment in the stadium, demonstrating its preparedness to host a successful tournament. The brand-new playing surface, well-designed seating stands, hospitality facilities, and improved security features are among the impressive amenities it offers. The historic moment captivated the ecstatic crowd, who sang and danced in celebration.