Euro Soccer Clubs Unhappy with CAF ’12 Cup of Nations Dates

February 28, 2011

A number of major European soccer clubs were unhappy with the schedule of dates released for next year’s African Cup of Nations by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

The event will be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea will be played between 21 January and 12 February, with reigning Champions Egypt hoping to retain their crown.

The tournament will begin over a week later than 2010 edition with the opening match played in Bata in Equatorial Guinea, while the final will take place in Libreville.

The one-week delay is not favourable by those European sides who play in leagues which take a winter break. This is because an earlier start to the tournament would have meant that many Europe-based players could compete at the finals without missing domestic matches.

The CAF is yet to fix a date and venue for the draw for the 2012 Nations Cup but FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, laws state that clubs must release their players for the Nations Cup up for 14 days before their opening match.