‘Crammed’ FIFA calendar shadow on AFCON show


Africa Cup of Nations moved Image: CAF

The 2025 Africa Cup of Nations has been postponed for six months due to the overcrowded FIFA calendar.

‘talkSPORT’ stated that the tournament was scheduled to take place in Morocco in the Summer of 2025 but will now be played in January 2026.

The Africa Cup of Nations, commonly referred to as the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations for sponsorship reasons, or simply AFCON or CAN, is the main international men’s association football competition in Africa. It is sanctioned by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and was first held in 1957.

6th of October City (Egypt)-based the Confederation of African Football (CAF) is the administrative and controlling body for association football, beach soccer and futsal in Africa. It was established on February 8th, 1957 at the Grand Hotel in Khartoum, Sudan, by the national football associations of: Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and South Africa.

‘talkSPORT’ further stated that the above decision was taken in response to FIFA’s revamped 32-team Club World Cup™ which will be held from June 15th-July 13th, 2025 in the United States.

The 2025 FIFA Club World Cup™ is the planned 21st edition of the FIFA Club World Cup™, an international club soccer competition organized by the FIFA. The tournament is scheduled to be played in the United States from June 15th-July 13th, 2025. It is planned to be the first under an expanded format with 32 teams, including the winners of the four previous continental championships. The Premier League team Manchester City F.C. is the defending champion.

Of the 32 teams invited to play in the Club World Cup, Africa will have four representatives whilst a host of the continent’s stars are expected to appear for African, European and Asian clubs.

Reacting to the postponement of its flagship tournament, the Secretary General of the African Confederation (CAF), Veron Mosengo-Omba, admitted it would not be in the best interests of the players to play the AFCON after the Club World Cup – “We could play the AFCON after the Club World Cup, but would it be in the interest of the players, who played the whole season, to go to America and return immediately to participate in the AFCON afterwards”

The new schedule is expected to spark backlash from key figures central to bringing the tournament to the North African nation.

Morocco was expected to use the showpiece event to boost its growing tourism industry but the switch from its traditional Summer months to a Winter kickoff is likely to anger the senior figures.

The AFCON has long caused uproar among the European clubs who oppose the January scheduling and subsequent unavailability of their African stars for up to a month.

The Summer scheduling did much to appease the clubs but the revert to January will no doubt reignite questions over the dates of the tournaments.

The Ivory Coast is the current AFCON holders following their success on the home soil in February.

The West African nation edged past Nigeria 2-1 in the final of what was widely referred to as the most entertaining AFCON in its history.

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