The coming edition of the Africa Cup will be held in the winter instead of the summer of 2021. Host country Cameroon has received permission from the African Football Association CAF on Wednesday to move the country tournament.
The tournament will be finished from January 9 to February 6. Currently the qualification for the event is in full swing, but apart from Cameroon (which is already certain to participate as a host country), no country has qualified for the title fight yet.
The previous edition of the Africa Cup was played in Egypt last summer. Many players then complained about the extreme heat. Cameroon, where it is also very hot in the months of June and July, wanted to prevent that.
With an Africa Cup in the winter months, the tournament returns to the format that was customary until 2017. In that year, the tournament was played in Gabon in January and February.
The Premier League clubs have the most disadvantage with the new design of the Africa Cup. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané (both Liverpool), Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal), for example, can miss no less than six matches.
Algeria title defender at the Africa Cup
Hakim Ziyech, Noussair Mazraoui, André Onana (all Ajax), Oussama Idrissi (AZ) and Lars Veldwijk (Sparta Rotterdam, now Jeonbuk Hyundai), among others, participated as Eredivisie players in the previous edition of the Africa Cup, in Egypt.
Algeria took the title last year. The Algerians were 1-0 too strong for Senegal in the final. Former Eredivisie player William Troost-Ekong's Nigeria seized the bronze by a 1-0 win over Tunisia in the consolation final.