CAF Confirms Date For 2025 Africa Cup Of Nations (2025 AFCON) In Morocco

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Confederation of African Football, CAF, have finally fixed a date for the 2025 AFCON after a ‘scheduling nightmare.’

In May 2024, CAF secretary-general, Veron Mosengo-Omba, sparked reports of a possible postponement of the continental showpiece when he enumerated the difficulties of holding the tournament in its regular June-July slot due to the increasingly congested FIFA calendar.

Particularly in the spotlight was FIFA’s belated revamped FIFA World Cup which was set to kick off around the same time as AFCON (June/July) in 2025.

FIFA sparked a row with domestic football administrators when they decided to press on with their attempt to hold the expanded FIFA Club World Cup next year. The tournament has been blasted as surplus to requirement and will put more pressure on footballers. The Premier League and La Liga led the list of virulent opponents, blasting FIFA for ‘killing the game.’ They also threaten to withdraw their clubs from the competition.

Veron seemed to take to the direction of FIFA Club World Cup opponents when he highlighted how the tournament has forced CAF into a scheduling nightmare for the 2025 AFCON. According to him, it would be infeasible to have players link up with their national teams for the 2025 AFCON a few weeks after being in action for their clubs in the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup.

While Veron did not state categorically that CAF have postponed the tournament, viral reports emerged the African football’s governing body have postponed the tournament. Amidst the unconfirmed reports, CAF would later issue a statement, making it clear they have not postponed the tournament.

CAF fix date for 2025 AFCON

The African Football House have finally confirmed the postponement and rescheduling of the competition.

On Friday, June 21, the body announced the flagship Men’s football tournament will be held in December 2025 and January 2026. There are projections that the new schedule for the tournament will engender another ‘country vs clubs row.’

Initially, CAF had upheld the commitment to host the tournament in June or July when major leagues in Europe must have wrapped up their domestic commitments. The 2025 AFCON was expected to revert to that normal schedule after the previous two editions were postponed due to logistic issues.

However, CAF could not uphold the commitment to return to the June-July slot due to the FIFA Club World Cup which has been scheduled for the same time. Now, with the tournament pushed to December and January 2025, it will clash with major leagues in Europe as the period will be the middle of their campaign. So, a series of collisions between clubs and countries during the tournament are expected.

CAF president Patrice Motespe reacts to concerns of club vs country row

Reacting to potential inconvenience the tournament will cost to African players in European outfits, reaffirmed the body’s commitment to protecting the interest of African players in Europe.

“Caf is committed to protecting and advancing the interests of African players playing in clubs in Europe and worldwide,” he said.

It has also been confirmed that the qualifying group draw for the rescheduled tournament will be made on July 4, 2024, while qualifiers will begin in September 2024.

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