AFCON Tournaments Get Summer Dates; Participating Teams Increase To 24

The trophy is handed over by a tribal chief ©Barry Aldworth/BackpagePix

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has revealed that the African Cup of Nation (AFCON) tournaments would now be held in the summer (June and July) starting from the 2019 edition in Cameroon.

The tournament, which normally takes place in January and February, has led to various disputes between countries and European clubs who find it hard to release their players in the middle of two European season.

In addition to being held in the summer, the number of teams competing at the tournament has increased from 16 to 24. The no. of teams participating has been increased for the first time since 1996, when he was moved from 12 to 16 teams.

The aforementioned changes were endorsed by the CAF executive committee at a meeting in Rabat, Morocco.

CAF also considered allowing countries from other continents to participate or even host the tournament but that idea was jettisoned meaning AFCON will continue to hold in Africa every two years with African countries only.

The announcements followed a two-day symposium, organised by Caf president Ahmad Ahmad and attended by current FIFA President Gianni Infantino, to discuss the state of African football.