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2021 AFCON Moved to 2022

Algeria are the current holders of the Africa Nations Cup Algeria are the current holders of the Africa Nations Cup

The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations has been postponed to January 2022 by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The tournament had been set to take place in January next year.

Elsewhere, the African Nations Championship (Chan), which should have been played in April, will now take place in January 2021. Cameroon is to host both competitions.

The decision means the biannual tournament will now be in the same year as the 2022 World Cup - something that last happened in 2010.

It was moved to odd-numbered years in 2013 - that year's tournament coming only a year after the previous one - to avoid such clashes, which risked disadvantaging African teams at the World Cup by giving them such an extended season of competition.

Traditionally held in January, the most recent Africa Cup of Nations, in 2019, was moved to the summer in an effort to avoid clashing with the major European league competitions.

This was meant to be the case for the Cameroon tournament as well, but that was then changed back to January owing to climate conditions in the country and a potential clash with the Club World Cup.

The move means that defending Premier League champions Liverpool will play all of next season without losing their key strike force of Senegal's Sadio Mane and Egypt's Mohamed Salah to international duty.

Meanwhile the cancellation of the women's Africa Cup of Nations comes as little surprise given the tournament had no host, while not one qualifier had been played.

There was a boost for the women's game however with the launch of a new Women's Champions League for Africa in 2021.

By BBC, Africa Sport Section

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