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Club versus country clash looms over dates for 2023 AFCON



The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cote d’Ivoire will run from Jan. 13-Feb. 11 next year, the Confederation of African Football confirmed on Thursday, providing another club versus country clash for top African players in Europe’s elite leagues.

The finals were postponed from June-July this year due to concerns over the weather at that time, and will instead be played in the middle of the 2023/24 European season.

CAF has resolved to try and play the finals in the June-July period in the future, but cannot do so when it is hosted in west Africa due to heavy rains that lash that part of the continent over those months.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, Bayern Munich forward Sadio Mane, Riyad Mahrez from Manchester City and Victor Osimhen of Napoli are just some of the key players for their teams that could miss as much as five weeks of next season depending on how far they get at the finals.

The month-long tournament returns to the Ivory Coast for the first time since 1984, with six nations, outside of the hosts, having qualified so far for the 24-team competition. They are Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, defending champions Senegal, Tunisia and Burkina Faso.


There are two more rounds of qualifiers to be played in June and September, with the draw for the finals to take place shortly after the last set of games on a date that has yet to be determined.



Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.