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CAF and PUMA Unveils Official Afcon Match Ball

With only two months to the kick off the Africa cup of nations in Cote d Ivoire, the Confederation of African Football finally  unveiled the match ball for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) scheduled for January 13th to  February 11th  2024 in the cities of Abidjan, Bouake, Korhogo, San Pedro and Yamoussoukro.
The ball which is named ‘POKOU’ is a collaboration between Caf and PUMA and its  named after Ivorian legendary forward Laurent Pokou, a doyen of African football whose five goals in the 6-1 victory over Ethiopia at the 1970 edition of Afcon remains a record during the competition’s final.

What you need to understand is that the  official ball features three main colours of the Cote d’Ivoire flag, white, orange and green, whilst incorporating the latest technology that will revolutionize the game on the continent and beyond.
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 Afcon 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 legendary Ivorian of giants, ASEC Mimosas, Pokou also had stints with French sides, Stade Rennes and Nancy. He passed away on 13 November 2016 aged 69.

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 ball’s official unveiling is yet another milestone in the countdown to the official kick-off on 13 January according to cafonline.
Erwan Pokou, his son, presented the iconic designed ball to the audience in attendance during the unveiling.
Erwan said that it was an emotional moment for the family after the official match ball was named after their legendary father.
“This is an emotional moment for my family. It is a great honour bestowed on my late father who gave his life to Ivorian football, to have the official match ball for a tournament taking place in no other place than Cote d’Ivoire named after him,” he said.
He further went on to thank the continental football body for celebrating a country hero which would in turn inspire the upcoming generations.
“The family appreciates the efforts by CAF and the Local Organising Committee (COCAN) to celebrate heroes and heroines to motivate and inspire future generations to follow in their exemplary steps,” Erwan added.


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