Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Expansion of Fifa Club World Cup will kill Afcon - Le Roy

Africa Cup champs Algeria return to hero's welcome

Togo coach Claude Le Roy says moving the 2021 Fifa Club World Cup to June and July will be to the detriment of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament.

The 24-team 2021 Club World Cup has been scheduled to run from June 17 to July 4, dates that fall within the period of Afcon.

Le Roy who has also coached a number of African teams such as Senegal, Ghana and DR Congo, feels Fifa’s decision on the global club tournament was not in the best interest of Africa.

“Fifa's decision that June is a good time to host the Club World Cup means they are killing the Nations Cup,” Le Roy told BBC Sport.

“When they decided to make a world championship of clubs with 24 teams at the same time as the Africa Cup of Nations, it's terrible for the projection of this beautiful competition - the Nations Cup.

“If you move the Nations Cup to July, it's worse than before (when played in January-February) for the clubs. The players will miss the pre-season preparations with their clubs and this part of the season is the most important for the players because of the new season.

“If we transfer a little bit later in July, not one player will be coming back for the pre-season preparations and they will rest for 1-2 weeks and begin the season later than the whole players.”

Fifa’s decision to adjust the Club World Cup dates comes fresh after Afcon was also shifted from the January-February period to June-July so as to avoid the club versus country conflict between African players based in Europe and their countries.

The 2019 Afcon was the first edition to be played in June and July.


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