CAF president Motsepe refuses to confirm dates for 2025 Afcon

Patrice Motsepe, the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), speaks during a 2024 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) press conference at the Palais de la Culture in Abidjan. AFP

Confederation of African Football president Patrice Motsepe on Friday refused to confirm the dates of the next Africa Cup of Nations, due to take place in 2025.

“The focus for all of us now is Ivory Coast,” CAF chief Motsepe said at a press conference in Abidjan, where this year’s Afcon in Ivory Coast concludes this weekend.

The tournament normally takes place every two years, but the current edition was delayed by six months due to fears over a clash with the rainy season in West Africa.

However, staging the next edition in Morocco next year presents various problems.

Holding it in January and February leaves little time to stage a qualifying competition, with FIFA-sanctioned dates in June already given over to qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup.

The Moroccan Football Federation this week issued a statement in which it claimed the tournament would take place in “summer 2025”.

However, playing it in June and July would mean a clash with FIFA’s expanded Club World Cup which is due to take place in North America.

Yet it may be impossible to delay until 2026, given that the first 48-team World Cup will be played that year, also in North America.

“There are a lot of competing events at the same time but we are confident that…it is indeed going to be around that time,” Motsepe said when asked if the competition would go ahead in 2025 as planned.

“We have to accommodate other competing competitions (but) the Afcon next year is going to be an immense success and we will make further announcements in due course.”

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