Guinea Sports Minister Domani Dore has denied that the country is willing to postpone the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament, which they are set to host, in order to accommodate the change to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which will now be played at the end of the year instead of the typical month of June.
Qatar’s difficult climate and very high temperatures during June/July, when the 2022 World Cup would normally take place has meant that FIFA have decided to move the dates of the global football showpiece to November/December.
This now affects the AFCON in 2023, which would typically be held in January and end in February. A competition in December, and then a month later would mean that a great deal of African players would need to be involved in both tournaments, and this would be very destabilising for many European and African club sides.
Speaking to journalists recently when revealing the World Cup date change, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said, “The African confederation has automatically and nicely agreed it will not organise the Nations Cup in January 2023. It will have to postpone the Africa Cup of Nations to June.”
It seems that while the Confederation of African Football (CAF) may have suggested that a change is doable, the host nation does not seem to be on the same page.
“We cannot accommodate the Nations Cup in June, it is the rainy season,” Dore said to Guinea television. “CAF needs to take care to seek the advice of Guinea that we as a state decide which dates the tournament will be played. We understand the problem around the World Cup and a clash with the Nations Cup.
“But CAF needs to take care to ask our opinion. In June, we cannot accommodate a Nations Cup tournament. It’s not possible,” Dore added.