Patrice Motsepe, President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced that next year’s AFCON has been rescheduled to 2024.
The tournament was to be played in June-July 2023, which is the height of the rainy season in Cote d’ Ivoire but this new development means it would be played in January-Febuary 2024.
“We cannot take the risk,” the South African said in the Moroccan capital Rabat.
He said the changes were triggered due to the World Cup in Qatar taking place in November and December this year, so the decision has been taken to postpone the finals rather than bring them forward.
In 2017, CAF announced that it would move the finals from their traditional January-February slot to June-July in a bid to avoid repeated disputes with European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season.
“January is not the ideal time because of the European clubs, but it is the only choice we have,” Motsepe added.
CAF Secretary-General Veron Mosengo-Omba added are no plans to permanently move the finals back to January-February given the contrasting weather patterns across the continent at different times of the year.
Both Motsepe and Mosengo-Omba were speaking in Morocco, which is currently hosting the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.