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Africa Cup of Nations returns to January-February slot for Cameroon 2021

By AFP

Added 15th January 2020 06:57 PM

Organisers said they had agreed to the change after discussions with meteorological experts, as well as player and coach representatives.

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The Africa Nations Cup trophy

Organisers said they had agreed to the change after discussions with meteorological experts, as well as player and coach representatives.

              

The Africa Cup of Nations will revert to its former time slot of January and February for the next edition in 2021, hosts Cameroon said on Wednesday.

The tournament's organising committee, as well as the Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot), revealed that the tournament will be played from January 9 to February 6, 2021 after a meeting with Confederation of African Football (CAF) chief Ahmad Ahmad in Yaounde.

A statement published on the CAF's website said organisers had asked for the dates to be changed because of "the unfavourable weather conditions during the period initially scheduled".

 mmanuel kwi and arouk iya are determined to lead ranes to the ations up in ameroon icture y palanyi sentongo Emmanuel Okwi and Farouk Miya are determined to lead Cranes to the Nations Cup in Cameroon. Picture By Mpalanyi Ssentongo

 

The tournament was moved to a June-July slot for last year's first 24-team edition in Egypt, in large part to avoid clashing with the European club season.

However, the competition, won by Algeria, was played in the searing heat of the north African summer. Meanwhile, the same period coincides with the rainy season in Cameroon.

Organisers said they had agreed to the change after discussions with meteorological experts, as well as player and coach representatives.

The Central African country was initially scheduled to be the venue for the 2019 Cup of Nations but CAF stripped it of its hosting rights in late 2018 because of delays in its preparations.

 ranes hope to qualify for a third ations up appearance in ameroon DR Congo players pose for a photograph prior to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between DR Congo and Uganda at Cairo International Stadium on June 22, 2019. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP)

 

Cameroon, which has been plagued by violence in its troubled anglophone region and is also fighting the Islamist insurgency of the Boko Haram group in the north of the country, had initially been awarded the tournament before its expansion from 16 to 24 teams.

The date change is also convenient for FIFA, given that world football's governing body will stage the first 24-team Club World Cup in China in June and July of 2021.

It comes with FIFA's Senegalese secretary general Fatma Samoura having been named as general delegate for Africa last year to oversee reforms within African football's governing body.

 ganda fans cheer for their team prior to the 2019 frica up of ations  football match between  ongo and ganda at airo nternational tadium on une 22 2019 hoto by    Uganda fans cheer for their team prior to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between DR Congo and Uganda at Cairo International Stadium on June 22, 2019. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP)

 

However, the change may not be viewed so positively by leading European clubs, who now risk losing key players to the competition for up to five weeks midway through next season.

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