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CAF Reschedules AFCON To December 2025

THE Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Friday that the next Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals have been postponed by six months. Originally set for mid-2025, the tournament in Morocco will now take place from December 21, 2025, to January 18, 2026. This change accommodates FIFA’s new expanded Club World Cup, which will feature 32 teams in the United States next June and July.

CAF has also rescheduled the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, postponing it by a year. The tournament will now be held from July 5-26, 2026, also in Morocco.

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CAF president Patrice Motsepe explained the delays, highlighting the complexities of scheduling within a crowded international calendar. ‘The announcement of the dates of the AFCON in Morocco 2025 took much longer than expected, as there were complex and at times challenging discussions with various interested parties, in light of the extensive international and domestic match calendars,’ said Motsepe.

Motsepe emphasised CAF’s commitment to protecting African players’ interests, many of whom play for European clubs, and to fostering positive relationships with other football confederations and FIFA. The rescheduling aims to alleviate the conflict European-based African players face when the AFCON occurs during their league season.

Historically, CAF had decided to move the AFCON finals to mid-year from 2019 onwards to avoid these conflicts. However, the last two tournaments in Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire reverted to early-year schedules. The decision to start the 2025 finals in December is to avoid a clash with the expanded UEFA Champions League.

The rescheduled tournament also shifts Morocco’s opportunity to bolster its summer tourism profile and showcase its readiness to co-host the 2030 World Cup with Portugal and Spain to the winter months.

Meanwhile, the qualifiers for the 2025 Cup of Nations will be played in the next three international windows in September, October, and November this year. The 24 qualifying teams will then wait over a year for the finals to begin.

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