CAIRO: The next Africa Cup of Nations finals will be put back six months to the start of 2026, the Confederation of African Football has announced.

The 2025 finals in Morocco were due to be played next June but that clashed with the expanded 32-team Club World Cup, which will be held in the U.S. from June 15-July 13.

Africa will have four teams at the Club World Cup and many of those players are likely to be picked for the Cup of Nations.

CAF was repeatedly asked about the obvious clash but failed to offer a solution until general secretary Veron Mosengo-Omba told the BBC the Nations Cup finals would be held in early 2026.

This will be a blow to Morocco, hoping to use a summer tournament to highlight their burgeoning tourist industry and prove its ability to stage a major tournament ahead of the 2030 World Cup which it is co-hosting with Portugal and Spain.

“We can play after the Club World Cup, but is this good for the interests of the players who have played all the season and then they travel to America to play (and then) immediately come to play Afcon?,” Mosengo-Omba said.

“Scheduling is a nightmare for everybody,” he told the BBC.

CAF has also been under fire for its inability to fix dates for this year’s women’s Africa Cup of Nations finals, also in Morocco.

There is also uncertainty around the second edition of the African Football League, the continent’s new super league launched last year.

Eight selected clubs played for record prize money in a knockout competition crammed into two months.

CAF president Patrice Motsepe promised the next edition would be made up of 24 teams but CAF on Tuesday announced that next season’s African Champions League and Confederation Cup group stages would be played from October to December – the dates taken up by the African Football League last year.

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