Afcon is one of the most-looked-forward tournaments. There are two other continental championships globally with a larger following: Europe and South America. A big sports tv service, huge commercial support, and worldwide social media buzz make it a global phenomenon.
With stars like Mohamed Salah of Egypt, Sadio Mane, or Édouard Mendy from Senegal, it is one of the most hyped events. However, some sad news is on the horizon for football fans as officials decide to change the dates.
The Postponement Of The Event
Due to worries about the rainfall in the Ivory Coast, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced to the world that the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations will be postponed until the beginning of 2024.
The Ivory Coast will host the 34th edition of the region’s most prestigious international tournament in June and July next year, replacing Cameroon.
However, a modification in the tournament’s schedule has been designed to eliminate the difficulties of the monsoon season. This year’s event will move forward and take place in the middle of the period for many of the top European players.
The Monsoon Season Being The Cause
According to CAF President Patrice Motsepe during the committee’s meeting on Sunday in Rabat, Morocco, this year’s tournament will take place between January and February. Weather in Côte d’Ivoire, which had been set for June 23 through July 23, prompted the postponing of the tournament, Motsepe stated.
According to a statement from a board member, the decision was also made after receiving further technical advice from specialists who expressed concerns about scheduling matches within that time frame. Côte d’Ivoire’s rainy season begins in June and July, according to the Nigerian News Agency (NAN). And hence, this would not be a suitable time to proceed with the tournament.
Was The Shift Really Necessary?
This year’s World Cup playoff will occur in November and December rather than in the fall as originally planned. This means the event will be held in the winter for a second consecutive year.
The last CAF Champions League will be held in 2022/23. Motsepe has also revealed that the African Super League will begin to play in September 2023. There were plans to hold the event after European clubs had finished their season in 2017 until CAF declared its intention.
This year’s edition, which Senegal won in February, was twice postponed because of Cameroon’s COVID-19 epidemic and unfavorable meteorological conditions. It was originally planned to begin in June 2021 and June 2022.
The choice to play the most recent event during the peak of the European calendar is not going to be comfortable for several high-profile club managers, including Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp.
Despite this, CAF Secretary-General Veron Mosengo-Omba claimed that moving the tournament from January to February was not an option because of the wide variations in climate throughout the continent. CAF also announced on Sunday the formation of an African Super League, which will begin in August 2023 and operate alongside the African Champions League.