Africa Cup of Nations moved from 2023 to January 2024

By Sports Desk July 03, 2022

The next edition of the Africa Cup of Nations will take place in January and February 2024, rather than between June and July 2023, according to CAF president Patrice Motsepe.

Africa's premier international tournament was due to be held in Ivory Coast during the European off-season next year, but the threat of heavy flooding in the country at that time of year means it will again take place midway through the club campaign.  

Speaking in the Moroccan capital Rabat, where a meeting of the CAF Executive Committee was taking place, Motsepe said: "We cannot take the risk.

"January is not the ideal time because of the European clubs, but it is the only choice we have."

In 2017 CAF announced its intention to play the tournament at the end of the European club season.

However, this year's edition, won by Senegal in February, was twice rescheduled after being slated to start in both June 2021 and June 2022, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and adverse weather conditions in Cameroon.

The move is unlikely to be popular with several big-name club coaches, with Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp one high-profile critic of the decision to play the most recent tournament at the height of the European season.

CAF Secretary-General Veron Mosengo-Omba, however, insisted the contrasting weather conditions across the continent meant a permanent switch to a January-February tournament was not on the cards.

CAF also announced the creation of an African Super League on Sunday, with the first edition of the 24-team tournament, which will run alongside the African Champions League, slated to begin in August 2023. 

Related items

  • PSG striker Kalimuendo joins Rennes for €25m after being linked with Leeds United transfer PSG striker Kalimuendo joins Rennes for €25m after being linked with Leeds United transfer

    Paris Saint-Germain striker Arnaud Kalimuendo has joined Rennes in a reported €25million transfer, penning a five-year deal with the Ligue 1 side.

    Kalimuendo, a France Under-21 international who signed his first professional contract with PSG as a 17-year-old in 2019, had been strongly linked with Premier League side Leeds United after they missed out on Belgian forward Charles De Ketelaere to Milan.

    The pacey forward has spent each of the last two seasons on loan at Lens, scoring 12 league goals in the 2021-22 campaign as they recorded an impressive seventh-placed finish.

    Only nine players, including PSG stars Kylian Mbappe (28) and Neymar (13), outscored Kalimuendo last term, earning the 20-year-old a big-money move to Europa League qualifiers Rennes.

    PSG boss Christophe Galtier had confirmed Kalimuendo's move was imminent earlier on Thursday, while Mauro Icardi is also expected to leave the Parc des Princes to make room for another attacking recruit.

    Rennes lost their Ligue 1 opener to Lorient last Sunday and face a trip to Monaco in their second game of the campaign on Saturday.

  • FIFA confirms change to World Cup start date as Qatar's fixture with Ecuador is brought forward FIFA confirms change to World Cup start date as Qatar's fixture with Ecuador is brought forward

    FIFA has confirmed the 2022 World Cup will start a day earlier than originally planned in order to allow hosts Qatar to face Ecuador in the opening match of the tournament.

    Qatar had originally been set to open their first World Cup campaign on Monday November 21, with Group A rivals Senegal and the Netherlands scheduled to get the competition under way earlier that day.

    But a unanimous decision taken by the Bureau of the FIFA Council means Felix Sanchez's Qatar side will now begin the tournament on Sunday November 20 at 7pm local time – continuing the tradition of the home side playing first.

    The opening ceremony has also been brought forward a day to November 20.

    "The FIFA World Cup 2022 will kick off with an even greater celebration for local and international fans as host country Qatar will now play Ecuador on Sunday, 20 November as part of a stand-alone event," read a statement issued by FIFA.

    "The change ensures the continuity of a long-standing tradition of marking the start of the FIFA World Cup with an opening ceremony on the occasion of the first match featuring either the hosts or the defending champions. 

    "The decision followed an assessment of the competition and operational implications, as well as a thorough consultation process and an agreement with key stakeholders and the host country."

     

    The decision means the Netherlands' fixture against Senegal has been moved to a later time slot on November 21, and will now follow on from England's Group B opener versus Iran.

    The World Cup hosts have featured in the opening match of the tournament since the 2006 edition in Germany, where Jurgen Klinsmann's team beat Costa Rica 4-2.

    Between the 1974 and 2002 tournaments, the defending champions opened the tournament, with France infamously going down to Senegal in the last World Cup to follow that tradition.

  • Tedesco: Werner 'needs to enjoy what's he's doing' after returning to RB Leipzig from Chelsea Tedesco: Werner 'needs to enjoy what's he's doing' after returning to RB Leipzig from Chelsea

    Timo Werner simply needs to enjoy his football again after ending his frustrating Chelsea spell by returning to RB Leipzig, according to his new head coach Domenico Tedesco.

    The Germany forward failed to live up to expectations after arriving at Stamford Bridge for a fee of £47.5million (€50m) two years ago, scoring just 10 Premier League goals in 56 appearances.

    Werner had previously made his name during a four-year spell at Leipzig, for whom his tally of 95 goals remains a club record, and re-joined the side on a four-year contract this week for a fee said to be around £25m.

    Tedesco, who led Leipzig to a fourth-placed Bundesliga finish after taking over midway through last season, is keen to avoid heaping pressure on the 26-year-old following his disappointing time in the Premier League.

    "As for Timo, there is no pressure at all," Tedesco told a news conference. "Of course, we notice what kind of commotion that's creating. He's coming back, he played for Leipzig before as you know.

    "He did a good job then. That's all we ask for. He just needs to enjoy what he's doing. He did the full pre-season with Chelsea but only played two games with them. 

    "So we will not burden him. We all have to be careful that we don't overload him. We just want him to have fun, show his strengths, of which he has many. 

    "The rest will come bit by bit. This won't happen overnight."

     

    Leipzig recorded 28 shots and enjoyed 68 per cent of the possession in their Bundesliga opener at Stuttgart last Sunday, but could only manage a 1-1 draw after taking the lead eight minutes in.

    Tedesco's side have also added David Raum and Xaver Schlager for eight-figure fees in the transfer window, but he insists their arrivals have not placed him under greater pressure to deliver, adding: "I am happy to have these guys on our team. You feel the biggest pressure from yourself.

    "We would like to play every game like the one in Stuttgart but then also win. Other than that, [we want] the feeling to look forward and the joy to have a squad like this. 

    "We are looking forward to midweek fixtures soon. Then we can get things going with this squad. This will also be important. 

    "It makes a difference if we play every seven days or every three and a half days. Playing will be more fun. It was like that last season and now our team is even broader."

    Leipzig host Koln in their first home match of the Bundesliga season on Saturday. 

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.