AFCON 2023 shifted to June

Jerome Valcke (AFP)
Jerome Valcke (AFP)

Doha - The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Guinea will move from January to June because of FIFA's plan to switch the 2022 Soccer World Cup dates to November-December, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said on Wednesday.

Valcke said the switch was a concession to clubs who don't want to lose their African players for back-to-back tournaments.

The 2022 World Cup is set to finish in late December and the African Cup had been scheduled to start in mid-January 2023.

"The African confederation has automatically and I would say nicely agreed that they will not organise in January '23," Valcke said.

"They will have to postpone the African Cup of Nations to June to avoid that there is a release of the African players for the World Cup and two weeks after for the African Cup."

Confederation of African Football spokesperson Junior Binyam said that he was not yet aware of FIFA's decision to move the African Cup, but CAF would still support any recommendations by the FIFA task force.

FIFA recommended on Tuesday that the 2022 World Cup move to the cooler months at the end of the year, protecting players and fans from the 40-degree Celsius heat of Qatar's summer.

CAF backs "100 percent the proposals of the task force and will adjust its calendar accordingly when a final decision will be made on the schedule of 2022," Binyam wrote.

Clubs are obliged to release players for major tournaments like the African Cup of Nations.

FIFA will confirm the exact 2022 World Cup dates for Qatar next month.

Protecting the World Cup from severe weather in Qatar may hamper the 2023 African Cup, however. The monsoonal rainy season in the West African nation of Guinea normally starts in June.

"We are all making a number of concessions to make sure that this World Cup can be played, for the players, for the fans, for the media, for whoever is attending the World Cup in the best conditions," Valcke said. "It is not perfect, we know that."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
40% - 14971 votes
12% - 4615 votes
19% - 6997 votes
3% - 981 votes
1% - 369 votes
2% - 893 votes
5% - 1894 votes
9% - 3231 votes
4% - 1341 votes
Water sports
1% - 342 votes
American sports
1% - 465 votes
3% - 1254 votes