The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations will not be played between June and July like the 2019 edition of the biennial football tournament, which was staged in Egypt.
This development, according to the Confederation of Africa Football, was at the instance of the host country, Cameroon.
CAF said the organisers had asked for the dates to be changed because of “the unfavourable weather conditions during the period initially scheduled”.
The tournament had been scheduled to take place in June and July.
But, following a meeting with representatives from the CAF, including the organisation’s president Ahmad Ahmad, the Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot) tweeted: “It (2021 Africa Cup of Nations) will be played in Cameroon from 9 January to 6 February 2021. Date changed for weather reasons at Cameroon’s request.”
The raining season in Cameroon reaches its peak between June and July, hence, it was deemed wise that January will be most appropriate.
The new date of the tournament will now be from January 9 and February 6, 2021, in Cameroon, less than a year away.
One of the reasons why the AFCON was initially moved from January to June was because of the complaints by top European clubs that their African players are taken away in the thick of the season.
Cameroon was to host the 2019 edition but they were stripped of the rights due to lack of preparedness.
The competition, which was moved to Egypt, was won by Algeria, who beat Senegal 1-0 in the final.
The change in date will only affect the 2021 edition of the competition as it will be reverted back to the June format, which was introduced at the last edition in Egypt.
Nigeria is top of her AFCON 2021 qualifying group (Group L) with maximum points from two games after victories against Benin (2-1) and Lesotho (4-2).