FIFA reveals position on cancelling AFCON 2021 in January

 FIFA reveals position on cancelling AFCON 2021 in January

By Joseph Ayinde

FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, has revealed that they are consulting with organisers of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, to see if the tournament can be postponed to September.

It is less than three weeks until the continental showpiece.

However, there are uncertainties surrounding the tournament, which is to kick off on January 6.

The most significant opposition comes from Europe, especially in England, where clubs are reluctant to release their top players.

The Omicron variant of COVID-19, which is spreading fast, is also a concern.

The 2021 AFCON has already been postponed twice because of the pandemic.

Infantino, speaking at the FIFA Global Summit on Monday, admitted that staging the AFCON in January has become a problem.

“The African Cup is a competition which is played every two years: we understand the importance of this Cup.

“Until a few years ago, nobody cared that it was played in winter.

“Now, it has become a problem, because many Africans play in big clubs, which lose them in a highlight of the season.

“If we can reschedule the calendar and make sure it is played in the big international window in September, rather than January or February, we would have solved a problem for so many leagues that have African players.

“It is part of the process we are talking about. I don’t like to talk about wars or enemies, but about the trial. It is important to seek the best solution together,” he said.

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