The Executive Committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has shifted its flagship event, the Africa Cup of Nations, from January to June/July, even as the body has also increased the number of participating teams from 16 to 24 with effect from the 2019 edition holding in Cameroon.
These decisions were reached on Thursday in Rabat, Morocco, at its meeting. CAF, however, retained the bi-annual nature of the tournament.
CAF said in a statement that, “the CAF Executive Committee, at its meeting on Thursday, 20 July 2017, in Rabat, Morocco, reviewed the resolutions of the various working groups of the 1st CAF African Football Symposium held from 18 -19 July 2017 at the Palais des Congrès in Skhirat, near Rabat.
“The committee advocated the establishment of a working group to work on the implementation of the resolutions and propose short, medium and long term implementation timetables. However, a consensus emerged on a number of issues raised by the working groups.
The Executive Committee adopted the working group proposal to “increasing the Africa Cup of Nations to 24 teams as of the 2019 edition, and the tournament will now be held in the months of June and July. “The competition will however remain a biennial event (every two years), odd years and exclusively held on African soil with African national teams.
CAF also agreed to change the format of the club championships-CAF Champions League and CAF Cup- from the present format of January to December to August-May. Though, no date has been fixed for this.
CAF also resolved to eradicate age cheating from the continent football, expressing its determination to explore all scientific and medical solutions that eradicate the scourge. The body also promised to embark on research that can help to determine the causes of sudden death among footballers, of which majority of the victims are of African origin.