FIFA have decided to move the 2022 World Cup from June-July to November-December, this has affected the 2023 AFCON which is due to be hosted in Guinea. AFCON 2023 will be rescheduled for June instead of January.
The World Cup is set to end on the 23rd of December and the AFCON was to have kicked off in mid-January. This would have meant that clubs would lose their African players to a November-December World Cup in 2022 and a January-February AFCON in 2023.
“The African confederation has automatically and I would say nicely agreed that they will not organize 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.” said FIFA secretary general Jarome Valcke on Wednesday.
Confederation of African Football(CAF) spokesperson Junior Binyam told the press that he was not informed about FIFA decision to move the tournament (AFCON2023) to June. He went on to add that CAF would support any advice or recommendation from the FIFA taskforce.
On Tuesday, the FIFA taskforce recommended that the 2022 world Cup in Qatar be moved to the end of the year. Their genuine reasons were simple- in November-December the weather was cooler. In the month of June-July where the World Cup is traditional staged, the temperature would be 40-degree C in Qatar. Certainly 40-degree C will be very uncomfortable for players and even the fans who might travel to support their nations.
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.
All football club have no choice when it comes to releasing players for major tournaments like the AFCON, it is obligatory.
The exact dates for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be confirmed and made public by FIFA next month.
Whiles FIFA are keen on protecting players and fun from the harsh weather in Qatar it might go a long way to affect AFCON2023 which is set to be hosted in June-July. The reason being that the rainy season in Guinea(host nation) 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.”