The 2021 African Cup of Nations will take place in January rather than the summer, it has been confirmed – meaning the season will be disrupted for several Premier League stars.
The tournament was due to be held in June and July but, due to weather conditions in the country at that time of year, the Cameroon Football Federation has decided to stage it between January 9 and February 6.
“It (2021 Africa Cup of Nations) will be played in Cameroon from January 9 to February 6, 2021. Date changed for weather reasons at Cameroon’s request,” the federation posted on Twitter after a meeting with representatives from the Confederation of African Football.
Since 1960, the tournament was always held during winter or early spring, mainly due to climate reasons and to avoid conflict with other international tournaments or club competitions, but it was changed last year when Egypt hosted the first summer tournament.
The move back to winter will affect the likes of Liverpool, who could have Mohamed Salah (Egypt), Sadio Mane (Senegal) and Naby Keita (Guinea) missing.
Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon) and Nicolas Pepe (Ivory Coast) are also likely to feature, with Manchester City, Manchester United and Leicester among other Premier League clubs who may be without first-team players.