The timing of this holiday is significant as it precedes the highly anticipated match between the host nation and Nigeria in the ongoing 2023 TotalEnergies CAF African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament.
The government’s decision to designate a public holiday is aimed at allowing citizens ample time to prepare and demonstrate unwavering support for the national football team, the Elephants of Ivory Coast, as they gear up for the crucial encounter.
Ivory Coast, a French-speaking country, is hosting the AFCON tournament, and the match against Nigeria is set to be a highlight of the competition.
According to information obtained by The PUNCH from a source in Cote D’Ivoire, the holiday applies to all public sectors, with banks operating on a half-day schedule.
The move reflects the significance of the upcoming AFCON match and underscores the government’s commitment to fostering national unity and pride through football.
The match between Ivory Coast and Nigeria is scheduled to kick off at 6 pm Nigerian time. Notably, Cote d’Ivoire commenced their AFCON campaign with a convincing 2-0 victory over Guinea Bissau, while Nigeria faced a 1-1 draw against Equatorial Guinea in their opening game.
History adds an extra layer of excitement to this encounter, as Nigeria and Ivory Coast have met six times at the AFCON, resulting in two wins for each country and two draws.
The outcome of this clash will significantly impact the standings, with Ivory Coast aiming to secure the top spot with six points, while Nigeria seeks to accumulate four points after the previous draw.
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