Letsholonyane backs CAF's move to change AFCON dates

Letsholonyane backs CAF's move to change AFCON dates
Reneilwe Letsholonyane of Supersport United during the 2017 Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Supersport United at the Loftus Stadium, South Africa on 13 April 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Jul 21, 2017. 12:30

With speculation rife that CAF could change the Africa Cup of Nations tournament dates which is staged between January and February, SuperSport United midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane supports the decision.

The former Bafana Bafana midfielder became the first local player to throw his support behind the proposed move by CAF members to switch the AFCON showpiece to mid-year, i.e. June/July.

'Yeye' said the idea will benefit national teams as that would ensure players are available, ending the club versus country issues.

Over 200 CAF delegates met in Morocco on Thursday to deliberate on issues affecting continental football.

Among issues discussed was the timing of the continental showpiece which is staged between January and February every two years.

“I buy into the suggestion of the Afcon being played in June because that would give the coaches of all national teams an opportunity to get players they want - it would be during the off-season,” said Letsholonyane.

“Sometimes African players who play in Europe really want to play at the Afcon but because they do not want to risk losing their positions at their clubs‚ they end up not coming.

"If the tournament is held in May or June‚ they would definitely come.

"Having almost all the top players from the top leagues around the world in one tournament would only serve to boost the image and level of the tournament.

"You have a three-year contract with that club and the national team is something that happens once in about two to three months.

"You spend a lot of time at your club and you will choose the club because of the many months you spend there.

"If you lose your position‚ it means sitting on the bench‚ frustration and trying to win back your position which is not guaranteed.”

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