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Just in: CAF postpones AFCON 2025 until January 2026

"For the men, we need to make sure that the dates that we’ll be choosing will be in the interests of the players"

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The 2025 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) will now take place in Morocco at the beginning of 2026, according to a statement from the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

The African football fiesta, which was originally scheduled to take place in June, faced a clash with the expanded 32-team Club World Cup, set to be held in the United States from June 15 to July 13.

Veron Mosengo-Omba, CAF’s general secretary, revealed to the BBC that the AFCON would now take place in early 2026, acknowledging the pressing issue of scheduling conflicts.

This decision poses a setback for Morocco, which had aimed to utilize the summer tournament to showcase its growing tourism sector and demonstrate its capability to host major events ahead of the 2030 World Cup co-hosted with Portugal and Spain.

Mosengo-Omba highlighted concerns regarding player welfare, questioning the feasibility of players participating in both the Club World Cup and the Afcon consecutively.

He said: “For the men, we need to make sure that the dates that we’ll be choosing will be in the interests of the players.

“For this, we need to balance different aspects and also discuss with our partners, and then we complete [the dates]. Scheduling is a nightmare for everybody.”

Additionally, CAF has faced criticism for its failure to finalise dates for the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon), also scheduled to be held in Morocco.

Mosengo-Omba promised a Wafcon announcement by the end of the month, hinting at a possible postponement to the following year because of teams participating in the Olympics.

“We are supposed to play this year, but we have teams engaged in the Olympics, so we have to find another date,” Mosengo-Omba explained.

“We are talking with Uefa because most of the players are playing in Europe, with the European Club Association, and also with Fifa in order to find [a] suitable date.”

Moreover, uncertainty looms over the second edition of the African Football League, the continent’s newly launched super league.

While the first edition featured eight selected clubs competing for record prize money in a condensed two-month knockout competition, CAF President Patrice Motsepe had promised an expansion to 24 teams for the next edition.

However, CAF’s recent announcement revealed that next season’s African Champions League and Confederation Cup group stages would occupy the same October to December timeframe previously allocated to the African Football League.

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