Winners of the 33rd Africa Cup of Nations will receive €4.5m, the Confederation of African Football (AFCON) has announced.
In the first AFCON tournament in 1957, there were only three participating nations: Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia. South Africa was originally scheduled to compete, but was disqualified due to the apartheid policies of the government then in power.
The 2021 AFCON holds in Cameroon from January 9 to February 6.
For the second consecutive time, 24 countries will participate in the biennial tournament, after a successful run in Egypt in 2019.
CAF boss, Patrice Motsepe, stated during the draws for the continental sgowpiece in Yaounde, Cameroon last year that there were plans to increase the prize money from €3.9m.
Motsepe said, “We want to increase the prize money and we are in discussions with sponsors because we have to show the world that African football is as good and amongst the best in the world.
“One of the things we want to do is to provide on top of the prize money which will be won by the winning nation, is to put aside prize money so that the nation that wins the AFCON next year, there is prize money that will go to the players so that we’ll not experience the problems we’ve had in the past.
“Players are demotivated when they qualify because they don’t know how much they will earn by way of bonuses. We are working on those things.”
The African football governing body has now fixed €4.5m for the winners of the competition in Cameroon, while the runners-up will earn €2.64m.
The third-place playoff winners will get €2.2m, same as semi-finalists, while all quarter-finalists are entitled to €703,361.
Meanwhile, each of the 24 countries entered for the competition will receive at least €534,000 for participation.
The CAF Africa Cup of Nations, officially CAN, also referred to as AFCON, or Total Africa Cup of Nations after its headline sponsor, is the main international men’s association football competition in Africa. It is sanctioned by the Confederation of African Football, and was first held in 1957