AFCON 'set to be postponed until 2022'
Next year’s Africa Cup of Nations, the continent's national teams competition, could be postponed until 2022 and become the latest sporting event to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic, it has been reported.
The next edition of the Cup of Nations, to be hosted by Cameroon, is slated to run from 9 January until 6 February in 2021.
However, citing a source from the Confederation of African Football, Radio Monte Carlo in France reported that the sport’s continental governing body will find it difficult to organise the tournament on schedule.
With four full rounds still remaining in the Cup of Nations qualifiers, in addition to the play-offs, this significantly reduces the possibility of holding the tournament next January.
It was announced earlier this year that the competition will switch back to the northern hemisphere winter for next year’s edition after it was moved from January and February to June and July for the 2019 competition in Egypt, thereby avoiding clashes with top European leagues.
But after several major sporting events were postponed or cancelled this summer, including the Uefa European Championships, South America's Copa America and the Olympic Games, the Cup of Nations is likely to become the latest to be shifted.
The Caf source told RMC: "The intention is to postpone the competition to be held in January 2022. It is also possible to make it in the summer of 2022, because the World Cup will take place in November 2022.
"But we have to study this idea very well so as not to destabilise the African teams participating in the World Cup."
In March, CAF launched invitations to tender for TV services and marketing services for the 2021 AFCON but a postponement is likely to give interested parties more time to submit bids.