Thursday Jan 16, 2020. 11:00
FECAFOOT, the Cameroon Football Federation, has announced that the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations will be played in January and February next year rather than the mooted June-July timeslot.
The 2021 AFCON was set to follow in the footsteps of the 2019 edition, which saw Egypt host in the months of June and July, thereby aligning with the European football calendar.
However, concerns over weather conditions in Cameroon in the middle months of the year have forced FECAFOOT to shift the tournament forward six months.
Officials in Cameroon met with representatives from the Confederation of African Football (CAF), including president Ahmad, on Wednesday in Yaounde.
“It (AFCON 2021) will be played in Cameroon from January 9 to February 6, 2021. Date changed for weather reasons at Cameroon’s request,” the Federation posted online.
— Fecafoot-Officiel (@FecafootOfficie) January 15, 2020
One benefit of the move is that the AFCON will no longer clash with the expanded format of the 2021 Club World Cup, which will be held in June.
“We have reviewed the period of the competition as requested by the Cameroonian party due to unfavourable climatic conditions during the period initially slated,” CAF’s deputy general secretary Tony Baffoe read from a statement, as quoted by the BBC.
“After listening to the various arguments and viewpoints, and in particular from the Cameroonian meteorological authorities, the coaches and players; the representatives of the AFCON organising committee, which received the mandate from CAF Executive Committee to take the decision, has granted this request.
“A detailed reported shall be presented to the members of the Executive Committee during its next session on 6 February.”