The FIFA president has stated his dissatisfaction with the current AFCON schedule, which he feels is causing problems for international football.
If Gianni Infantino had not spoken officially at the time of the various movements linked to a possible postponement or cancellation of the AFCON, it remains however established that the Swiss pulled the strings in the shadows to try to put pressure on African leaders who on this issue, they put up a strong resistance. Last Monday, however, during a press conference in Zurich on the future of football, Gianni Infantino officially gave his position on the holding of the AFCON in January and February. Something that the FIFA boss says needs better timing.
“A few years ago, no one cared whether the African Cup of Nations was played in January or February, more or less, assured Gianni Infantino. Today that is becoming a problem, because in January and February, for many leagues in Europe and other parts of the world where Africans play, it is in the middle of their competitions. And these leagues have to free up the players so that they can play in the AFCON, which is normal because that is how the pyramid and the football system are built,” declared Gianni Infantino.
“If we can rationalize the schedule in order to ensure that AFCON can be played in the framework of a longer international window in the fall rather than January and February, I think we will have already achieved something big enough that there is less disruption for many leagues that have players of African nationalities in their competitions,” suggests Infantino.
Anyway, it is clear that we are far from the end of the tunnel with the issue of the AFCON schedule. We remember that FIFA had, a few days ago, suggested bringing it back every 4 years. A situation which clearly reflects the lack of interest of world football leaders for Africa.