Cape Town, South Africa ( Associated Press) – The next African Cup of Nations will clash again with the European season and potentially lead to more club-versus-country friction and discontent over players’ releases, as organizers decided to postpone it until January 2024 was.
The decision was announced by the Confederation of African Football on Sunday. And the host nation was driven by the weather in Ivory Coast, CAF said.
The tournament was scheduled to take place in June and July 2023 – a slot chosen to coincide with the European League’s summer break – but Ivory Coast experiences heavy rains at that time of year and badly affected Africa’s showpiece tournament. There is a danger of being
The CAF said it had received a report from a technical group that holding the African Cup in Ivory Coast mid-year would have an “adverse” effect.
This has been a familiar problem for CAF, which had made a long-term commitment to move the African Cup from its traditional January-February slot to the middle of the year.
But the decision in 2014 to hold three straight African Cups in Central and West Africa cut it short due to problematic mid-year weather in that part of the continent. This year’s tournament in Cameroon was also scheduled to be played in June and July, but had to be moved back to the January-February slot due to Cameroon’s monsoon season. The next African Cup after Ivory Coast is in Guinea, another West African country, and could well lead to the same problem.
European clubs have consistently complained about being forced to release some of their biggest stars for at least a month for the African Cup when they face significant run-ins in their league seasons. The African Cup also occurs around every two years and is not like every four other major international football tournaments.
Before Cameroon’s African Cup, some clubs threatened to block their players, although some of Africa’s biggest names such as Senegal’s Sadio Mane, Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez played. World body FIFA finally found a settlement By allowing clubs to delay the release of their players for the African Cup, but this also causes problems on the other hand when African teams have less time to prepare their players for their continent’s top tournaments. Sometimes only days.
The CAF also announced on Sunday that its executive committee had given approval for a new African club Super League to be played from 2023, significantly with the support of FIFA.
CAF President Patrice Motsepe said the total prize money for the new Super League would be $100 million.
“We are inundated with investors and sponsors who are looking forward to partnering with us in the CAF Super League,” said Motsepe.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has publicly supported the idea of an African Super League, despite fierce resistance from FIFA to the eventually doomed European Super League.
Infantino said earlier this year that the African Super League, which has been in talks since 2019, would be “an entirely different proposition”.
“It is not a separate league at all. It is an African Super League that is integrated into the institutional framework of African and global football,” said Infantino. “The other major difference is that it is an open competition, allowing up to four teams to be promoted and relegated if they do not perform.”
CAF did not provide any details about the final structure of its Super League and how it would sit alongside Africa’s current Champions League club tournament. The CAF said the details, including the official name of the tournament, would be announced next month.
African football badly needs improvement, with the African Cup of Nations being the continent’s only real money-making tournament.
Kanjere reported from Blantyre, Malawi.
More Associated Press Soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports