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AFCON 2025 rescheduled: Impact on African players in Premier League, Europe

Posted : 20 February 2024

The 2025 CAF Africa Cup of Nations is set to take place in Morocco, marking the 35th edition of Africa's biennial national men's team football competition. Notably, there has been a change in the tournament's schedule, shifting away from the humid weather conditions that affected the AFCON 2023 tournament in Ivory Coast.

Following the success of AFCON 2023, Morocco has been selected as the host, and the tournament will now be held from July 20th to August 17th, spanning six cities: Tangier, Rabat, Casablanca, Agadir, Marrakesh, and Fez. This change is expected to address the weather concerns and provide a more suitable environment for the competition.

In contrast to the previous AFCON, which was moved to January 2024 to avoid the rainy season, the 2025 finals will now align with the northern hemisphere's summer months. This adjustment aims to accommodate the preferences of both players and clubs, especially those in European leagues.

The rescheduling is likely to ease concerns for club coaches and owners in European leagues. With the new timeline, there will be fewer disruptions caused by key players leaving in the middle of the season to represent their nations, providing more stability for clubs during critical moments.

However, the rescheduled AFCON will have a notable impact on the participating players. Starting in July means that many players will miss their clubs' pre-season games and potentially the initial league matches of the 2025/2026 season. The shortened recovery and preparation time may pose challenges for African players to seamlessly integrate into their club sides after the tournament concludes.

Additionally, the timing of the competition could influence transfer decisions. Clubs often engage in the summer transfer market, and the fear of potential injuries during the AFCON may make some club boards hesitant to pursue African players. This hesitation could stem from concerns about the players' readiness and the delayed contribution to the club's on-field action after signing.


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