The next edition of the Africa Cup of Nations has been pushed back to 2024 due to weather concerns in the hosting country Ivory Coast, which now has huge implications for all clubs.
The tournament was originally scheduled to take place in June 2023 but due to torrential rain conditions that usually occur in the Ivory Coast in June, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) plus other executive boards have had to come to an agreement to postpone the tournament until 2024. “We cannot take the risk,” caf president Patrice Motsepe said in the Moroccan capital Rabat, via the BBC.
This means AFCON will now be held in the northern hemisphere’s winter months for the second time in a row, following this year’s tournament in Cameroon.
It was actually in 2017 that CaF announced that the traditional January-February slot would be no more in the near future to help avoid disputes with European clubs who have not been impressed by having to release their players mid-season in the past.
Last year’s tournament saw Edouard Mendy and Senegal become the Champions of Africa for the first time in their history after a penalty shootout victory over Egypt. In the 2024 edition, all three of the top London clubs are expected to have representation in some way.
As of now, Tottenham with Yves Bissouma if Mali were to qualify and Chelsea with Mendy and perhaps Hakim Ziyech (Morocco), if he were to stay at Stamford Bridge, would be involved. Meanwhile, Arsenal currently have the likes of Thomas Partey (Ghana) and Mohamed Elneny (Egypt) who could also be involved.
Elsewhere, Crystal Palace will have Wilfred Zaha representing the host nation in the 2024 edition in the form of the Ivory Coast. Qualifiers for the next tournament are currently taking place.