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AFCON Postponed To 2026 To Avoid Club World Cup Clash

THE Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Wednesday that the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals will be postponed by six months, now set to take place in early 2026. The decision comes to avoid a scheduling conflict with the expanded 32-team Club World Cup, which will be held in the US from June 15 to July 13, 2025.

Originally scheduled for June 2025 in Morocco, the AFCON finals faced a clash with the Club World Cup, where Africa will have four participating teams. Many players from these teams are also likely to be selected for their national squads in the Cup of Nations, necessitating the change in schedule.


CAF’s General Secretary, Veron Mosengo-Omba, addressed the issue in an interview with the BBC, explaining the decision: ‘We can play after the Club World Cup, but is this good for the interests of the players who have played all season and then travel to America to play and then immediately come to play AFCON? Scheduling is a nightmare for everybody.’

This postponement is a significant setback for Morocco, which had hoped to leverage the summer tournament to boost its tourist industry and demonstrate its capability to host major events ahead of the 2030 World Cup, which it will co-host with Portugal and Spain.

CAF has faced criticism for its handling of the schedule, including delays in setting dates for this year’s Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, also to be held in Morocco. Additionally, there is uncertainty surrounding the second edition of the African Football League, the continent’s new super league introduced last year.

Despite these challenges, CAF President Patrice Motsepe remains optimistic. ‘The next edition of the African Football League will feature 24 teams,’ Motsepe stated. However, CAF announced that the next season’s African Champions League and Confederation Cup group stages would be played from October to December, overlapping with the previously allocated dates for the African Football League.

These scheduling adjustments underscore the complexities faced by CAF in organising continental tournaments amid an increasingly crowded international football calendar. The decision to postpone the AFCON aims to ensure player welfare and maintain the integrity of the competitions.

The Africa Cup of Nations’ rescheduling highlights the ongoing efforts to balance player commitments and optimise the timing of major tournaments in an ever-busy football landscape.

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