The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations has been postponed to January 2022 by the Confederation of African Soccer (Caf) on account of the coronavirus pandemic, whereas the ladies’s model of the match has been cancelled.
The boys’s match had been set to happen in January subsequent yr.
Elsewhere, the African Nations Championship (Chan), which ought to have been performed in April, will now happen in January 2021.
Cameroon is to host each competitions.
“Well being is our primary precedence. We should stay vigilant,” Caf president Ahmad Ahmad mentioned in a information convention asserting the transfer.
The choice means the biannual match will now be in the identical yr because the 2022 World Cup – one thing that final occurred in 2010.
It was moved to odd-numbered years in 2013 – that yr’s match coming solely a yr after the earlier one – to keep away from such clashes, which risked disadvantaging African groups on the World Cup by giving them such an prolonged season of competitors.
Historically held in January, the newest Africa Cup of Nations, in 2019, was moved to the summer time in an effort to keep away from clashing with the most important European league competitions.
This was meant to be the case for the Cameroon match as properly, however that was then modified again to January owing to local weather situations within the nation and a possible conflict with the Membership World Cup.
The transfer implies that defending Premier League champions Liverpool will play all of subsequent season with out dropping their key strike pressure of Senegal’s Sadio Mane and Egypt’s Mohamed Salah to worldwide responsibility.
“I feel this can be a clever resolution as a result of time may be very brief now and so they couldn’t postpone to the summer time,” Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr informed BBC Sport Africa.
“I can perceive this resolution – we’ve extra time now to arrange our younger boys. It’s not all dangerous.
“There’s a optimistic facet in all this and we’ve time for some friendlies and in addition for the start of the World Cup qualifiers – usually we are going to start in November with this, and I feel we are able to observe the plan and nonetheless have time to the Afcon qualifiers beginning in October, so it’s a clever resolution and will probably be an enormous yr in 2022.”
In the meantime the cancellation of the ladies’s Africa Cup of Nations comes as little shock given the match had no host, whereas not one qualifier had been performed.
There was a lift for the ladies’s recreation nevertheless with the launch of a brand new Ladies’s Champions League for Africa in 2021.
Evaluation – Reduction for European golf equipment however an exhausting 2022
John Bennett, BBC World Service
With the uncertainty as to the pandemic state of affairs in six months’ time, it at all times seemed unimaginable for the Cup of Nations to happen in January and February subsequent yr.
That’s particularly the case when you think about that the ultimate qualifying spherical is nowhere close to to being accomplished, with 4 match days nonetheless left to play.
Suspending the match for 12 months was the clever possibility.
It is a resolution which, on the face of it, has the most important affect on worldwide soccer however many European golf equipment shall be feeling relieved at present.
For instance, take into consideration what this implies for the Premier League title race subsequent season; Liverpool would have misplaced Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita for six weeks in 2020-21 had the match gone forward as deliberate. That certainly would have handed a bonus to their rivals – however now these gamers shall be out there for the complete marketing campaign.
That will add weight to the argument that Jurgen Klopp would not want a brand new ahead participant and that the choice in opposition to attempting to signal Timo Werner is not an issue.
For Africa’s prime gamers although, 2022 is about to be an exhausting yr. Together with their membership commitments, many will begin the yr with the Africa Cup of Nations after which finish it with a World Cup in Qatar.