The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has rearranged the continent’s qualifying campaigns for the 2022 World Cup and the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. In a memo addressed to all affiliated National Associations, the CAF Secretary General Mouad Hajji explained the reasons for the date change.
Mr Hajji said the decision to rearrange the AFCON 2021 and World Cup 2022 dates is as result of the meeting held between CAN Organising Committee and Cameroonian Representatives and Stakeholders in Cameroon last week.
The main agenda of the meeting was the date change of the 2021 football jamboree due to meteorogical reasons, from June-July to January February. As a consequence, to make sure the changes don’t affect the CAF initial calendar, CAF decided to modify the dates of the qualifiers.
Nations Cup qualifiers had been due to begin in August but will now start in March while qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup have been postponed to October. Two rounds of Nations Cup qualifiers will be staged in March, with one round in June prior to the final qualifying period from August 31- September 8.
The new date changes have not made many countries and coaches happy because to them, teams won’t have enough time to prepare for the World Cup qualifiers.
The draw for the group stage of the 2022 World Cup qualifying is set to take place on January 21. The change back to a January start for the Nations Cup means that the tournament will not clash the expanded Club World Cup, being held in China in June 2021.