GENEVA: The significance to European league football of the interruption caused by the African Nations Cup every two has been set out in facts and figures.

The 30th finals kick off in Equatorial Guinea on Saturday with two thirds of the players involved coming from European clubs.

Club concern over the timing of the finals was one of the reasons the African confederation refused to consider a change of date when orginal host Morocco requested a postponement until later in the year because of the ebola crisis.

CAF president Issa Hayatou feared that delaying the finals would lead the European clubs a perfect opportunity to press for the tournament shifting permanently out of its traditional January/February window.

The final will be staged on February 8 and, according to the European Club Association:

  • 170 European clubs from 33 different UEFA Member Associations are involved in the release of players (including 63 ECA member clubs)
  • 66.9pc of the Africa Cup of Nations players (246 players from a total of 368) currently play in one of the European national championships
  • All 23 players of the national team of Senegal play in Europe
  • Bordeaux and Lyon are the two European clubs releasing most players
  • 71 Africa Cup of Nations Players are registered with 33 clubs in France

Further information:  here