The Confederation of African Football (CAF), African soccer’s governing body, has denied reports that the next Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) has been officially pushed back to the start of 2026, with mass confusion over the tournament's dates having developed.

The CAF rebuttal comes despite CAF's own general secretary Veron Mosengo-Omba having been cited by media earlier this week as saying that the national teams' AFCON, to be held in Morocco, will take place in January 2026 as opposed to its scheduled slot in mid-2025. CAF has since posted a statement on X (formally Twitter) disputing this, simply saying the reports are "untrue."

The main issue, which has not been addressed publicly by CAF until now, is that an AFCON in mid-2025 would likely then clash with the first edition of the expanded 32-team FIFA Club World Cup (CWC), which will be held in the US from June 15 to July 13. Global soccer's governing body FIFA is prioritizing the new version of the CWC as a commercially-lucrative opportunity, and will expect its various confederations to accommodate it in terms of fixture scheduling.

Africa is set to be represented by four teams at the Club World Cup, with many of the players likely to be picked for AFCON.

CAF’s full X statement read: “Reports on AFCON 2025 are untrue. The CAF executive committee will meet, deliberate, and make a decision on the AFCON 2025 dates. CAF will thereafter issue [an] official statement on the matter.”

Mosengo-Omba’s original comments meanwhile – as quoted by the UK's BBC – were: “We can play after the Club World Cup, but is this good for the interests of the players who have played all the season and then they travel to America to play (and then) immediately come to play Afcon? Scheduling is a nightmare for everybody."

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Morocco was only named as the next AFCON host last September – the event had originally been due to be held in Guinea, but that nation was stripped of hosting rights in late 2022 after serious concerns emerged around security and infrastructure, amongst other issues.

The 2027 edition of the biennial AFCON, meanwhile, is currently scheduled to take place across Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

The last AFCON was held earlier this year in Ivory Coast (after having suffered a six-month postponement).

The CAF had already been under criticism for its inability to fix dates for this year’s women’s AFCON, also in Morocco, while there is also uncertainty around the second edition of the African Football League (AFL), the continent’s new club super league that launched last year.

Patrice Motsepe, the confederation's president, had promised that the next edition of the AFL would be made up of 24 teams, but the CAF has since announced that next season’s African Champions League and Confederation Cup group stages would be played from October to December, which are the same dates the AFL took place last year.