CAF Unveil The Official 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup Of Nations Official Match Ball

By: Gyang Dakwo

CAF and PUMA have unveiled the official match ball for the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023.

The Official match ball, POKOU, is named after Ivorian legendary forward Laurent Pokou, whose five goals in the 6-1 victory over Ethiopia at the 1970 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations remains a record during the Final competition.

Following the long-term agreement between CAF and Puma announced on the eve of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Final Draw in Abidjan, the official unveiling of the ball is yet another milestone in the countdown to the official kick-off on 13 January 2024.

The ball features the three main colours of the Cote d’Ivoire flag – white, orange and green, whilst incorporating the latest technology that will revolutionize the game.

Nicknamed L’homme d’Asmara, Pokou is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of Ivorian football. It is in recognition of his contribution to football in the West African country, that one of the match venues for the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023 in San Pedro is christened Laurent Pokou Stadium.

He made his debut against Ghana in a friendly in 1967, going on to become top scorer in the 1968 and 1970 Africa Cup of Nations. His 14 goals in the Africa Cup of Nations was for a long time a tournament record till 2008, when Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon eclipsed that feat.

A legend of Ivorian giants, ASEC Mimosas, Pokou also had stints with French sides, Stade Rennes and AS Nancy Lorraine. He passed away on 13 November 2016 aged 69.

The tournament will take place from 13 January to 11 February 2024 in the cities of Abidjan, Bouake, Korhogo, San Pedro and Yamoussoukro.