Ahmad Ahmad reveals possible changes to 2021 AFCON schedule

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- Yasmine El Tohamy - Photo: Mahmoud Bakkar/picture alliance via Getty Images

Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Ahmad Ahmad revealed that the 2021 AFCON might take place in January.

Apart from the 1959 edition, the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) was always held during winter or spring mainly due to climate reasons and due to its overlapping with other international tournaments.

This was changed in 2019 when Egypt hosted the first AFCON to take place during summer in 60 years. This change was seemingly going to be permanent, however CAF chairman Ahmad Ahmad revealed that the tournament might return to its winter schedule starting 2021.

“This is because of the different climatic conditions in the continent. I don’t know why the media has forgotten that this was discussed in detail, at the 2017 CAF symposium that we had in Morocco,” Ahmad told Inside World Football

“In my view, it is not possible, because of the climatic conditions in Cameroon, to stage the Africa Cup of Nations in June/July. This is clear, so we must make a decision on the date,” Ahmad said.

According to the current calendar, the new FIFA Club World Cup would begin on June 17 and end on July 4, five days before the scheduled start of the AFCON. Meaning that many players won’t be able to properly rest or take part in the training camps prior to the competition.

Photo: Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

“There are certainly Europeans that have no respect or regard for African football. But Gianni [FIFA president] is not amongst them,” Ahmad said.

“Gianni loves African football. He really wants to see African football develop. His concern for our development is genuine. Yet, some people say that he has no respect for African football. This is not correct.

“He is working with us to ensure that African football is brought to a much higher level than we are now. And I am grateful to him for his support,” he added

The Malagasy also talked about the CAF’s decision of playing the Champions League in one leg.

“We took the decision to change the format, after what happened at the last final in Tunis. We will make every effort to ensure that it is successful,” he concluded.

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Ahmad Ahmad, who has been elected as the CAF president in 2017, might see his time in charge of Africa’s football governing body come to an end in the 2021 AFCON elections. His only official opponent, for now, is former CAF Secretary General Amor Fahmy.

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