CAF increases AFCON prize money to $7m

Ahead of the 34th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast later this month, players and teams have received a welcome boost in prize money from the Confederation of Africa Football, The Telegraph reports.

CAF on Thursday announced a 40 per cent increase in the prize money for the winners of the 2023 AFCON.

According to the statement published on the website of the football governing body, the winners of the tournament will receive $7m, $2m more that the reward doled out at the last edition in Cameroon.

The runners-up of the African football showpiece event will now get $4m while each of the two semi-finalists will receive $2.5m, with each of the four quarter-finalists taking home $1.3m.

Two years ago, the 33rd edition of the AFCON — which was moved from 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic — was contested by 24 teams in Cameroon after CAF allowed eight more teams more than 16 that competed at the previous edition in 2019. The change in the biennial tournament led to a review in prize money.

In 2019, champions Algeria received $4.5m while runners-up Senegal got $2.5m.

During the draw for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, CAF decided to further increased the cash prizes with champions Senegal rewarded with $5m, while runners-up Egypt got $2.75m.

Each of the losing semi-finalists were rewarded with $2.2m, with the quarter-finalists receiving $1.8m.

Reacting to the latest increment, CAF president Patrice Motsepe said, “CAF has made significant progress over the past two years in increasing the prize money of the AFCON and all its other major competitions. We have increased the prize money of the AFCON winners to $7m, which is a 40 per cent increase from the previous AFCON prize money.

“I am confident that a portion of the prize money will contribute to developing football and also benefit all the football stakeholders, as well as assist our Member Associations with their administrations.”

The rise in the AFCON prize money sees the continent surpass the prize money paid to South American champions and closes the gap on their Europe counterparts.

Italy, winners of the European Championships in July 2021, received $11m from UEFA, while runners-up England got $7.7m (these don’t include cash awards for winning matches leading up to the final).

The Copa America, the equivalent tournament in South America, gives $6.5m to the champions and $3.5m to the second-best team.