Sports News of Friday, 21 July 2017
The Executive Committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has passed a proposal shifting the scheduling of the AFCON from January to June and July.
This follows the decision to expand the number of teams in the tournament from 16 to 24 teams.
The new format for the competition will now take effect with the 2019 edition in Cameroon.
The decision will come as a breath of fresh air for many figures in the football fraternity as many had been calling for this change for years.
The proposal for the change was discussed at the just ended historic CAF symposium in Rabat Morocco which saw 55 members of the continent’s most influential football figures gather to discuss possible major changes on the continent.
The Nations Cup’s timing in January and February has long angered clubs in Europe, where many Africans play, as it is right in the middle of the European league season.
Former CAF president Issa Hayatou opposed the move several times suggesting the weather patterns in Africa favoured the January/February period. The AFCON, before this change, was the only continental competition which was not played in the summer.
The competition will continue to be contested every two odd years with only African teams participating and exclusively held in Africa.
The timing of the CAF club competitions will also be changed and will be held from August to May, coinciding with the European calendar although the format will be unchanged.