Home Sports CAF Postpones AFCON to Early 2026 to Avoid Conflict with Club World Cup

CAF Postpones AFCON to Early 2026 to Avoid Conflict with Club World Cup

by Annet Mugabo
11:06 pm

Ivory Coast national team celebrating CAF title last year

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced a six-month postponement of the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), now rescheduled to early 2026 in Morocco.
 The tournament, initially slated for June 2025, faced a scheduling conflict with the newly expanded 32-team Club World Cup, set to take place in the United States from June 15 to July 13.
 Veron Mosengo-Omba, CAF’s General Secretary, disclosed to the BBC that AFCON would now be held in early 2026 to address these scheduling issues.
 This delay represents a significant setback for Morocco, which had hoped to leverage the summer tournament to bolster its burgeoning tourism industry and showcase its capacity to host major events ahead of the 2030 World Cup, which it will co-host with Portugal and Spain.

A photo of the African Cup of Nations trophy during the draw ceremony for the 2022 African Cup of Nations (CAN) in Yaounde, Cameroon, on August 17, 2021. (Photo by Daniel Beloumou Olomo / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL BELOUMOU OLOMO/AFP via Getty Images)

Mosengo-Omba underscored concerns about player welfare, questioning the practicality of athletes competing in both the Club World Cup and AFCON in quick succession.
 “For the men’s tournament, we need to ensure that the dates we choose prioritize the players’ best interests,” Mosengo-Omba stated.
“Balancing various factors and consulting with our partners is essential before we finalize the dates. Scheduling is a complex challenge for everyone involved.”
 CAF has also faced criticism for not finalizing dates for the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON), which is also scheduled to be held in Morocco.
 Mosengo-Omba assured that an announcement regarding WAFCON would be made by the end of the month, hinting at a possible postponement to the following year due to teams’ commitments to the Olympics.
 “We were supposed to hold the tournament this year, but with teams engaged in the Olympics, we must find an alternative date,” Mosengo-Omba explained.
“We are in discussions with UEFA, given that many players are based in Europe, as well as with the European Club Association and FIFA to determine a suitable date.”
 Further uncertainty surrounds the second edition of the African Football League, the continent’s newly inaugurated super league.
 The first edition featured eight selected clubs competing for record prize money in a condensed two-month knockout

Ivory fans

CAF President Patrice Motsepe had promised an expansion to 24 teams for the next edition.
 However, CAF’s recent announcement revealed that the next season’s African Champions League and Confederation Cup group stages would occupy the same October to December timeframe initially designated for the African Football League.

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