SPORTS: football
FIFA reveals position on cancelling AFCON 2021.

FIFA pres­i­dent, Gian­ni Infan­ti­no, has revealed that they are con­sult­ing with organ­is­ers of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, to see if the tour­na­ment can be post­poned to September.

It is less than three weeks until the con­ti­nen­tal showpiece.

How­ev­er, there are uncer­tain­ties sur­round­ing the tour­na­ment, which is to kick off on Jan­u­ary 9.

The most sig­nif­i­cant oppo­si­tion comes from Europe, espe­cial­ly in Eng­land, where clubs are reluc­tant to release their top players.

The Omi­cron vari­ant of COVID-19, which is spread­ing fast, is also a concern.

The 2021 AFCON has already been post­poned twice because of the pandemic.

Infan­ti­no, speak­ing at the FIFA Glob­al Sum­mit on Mon­day, admit­ted that stag­ing the AFCON in Jan­u­ary has become a problem.

“The African Cup is a com­pe­ti­tion which is played every two years: we under­stand the impor­tance of this Cup.

“Until a few years ago, nobody cared that it was played in winter.

“Now, it has become a prob­lem, because many Africans play in big clubs, which lose them in a high­light of the season.

“If we can resched­ule the cal­en­dar and make sure it is played in the big inter­na­tion­al win­dow in Sep­tem­ber, rather than Jan­u­ary or Feb­ru­ary, we would have solved a prob­lem for so many leagues that have African players.

“It is part of the process we are talk­ing about. I don’t like to talk about wars or ene­mies, but about the tri­al. It is impor­tant to seek the best solu­tion togeth­er,” he said.

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