The next edition of the Africa Cup of Nations has been postponed to January 2022. The Confederation of African Football (Caf) confirmed in their Executive Committee meeting on Tuesday that the tournament has been pushed back a full year. The 33rd edition would have started on January 9 2021, but has now been pushed back to 2022.
The Executive Committee has decided to push back the tournament due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic across the continent. Meanwhile, the CAF also has major concerns about the ability to play all the remaining qualifying matches before the intended start date of January 2021, especially after the FIFA has ruled out the month of September for international matches outside of Europe and South America.
While the CAF could schedule matches in October-November, this would also impact the African World Cup qualifying campaign for the 2022 tournament in Qatar. These qualifiers will start later this year and will have multiple groups and phases to result in five African qualifiers for the World Cup.