AFCON Boost For League Sides From 2019
Changes to the African Cup of Nations have provided Premier League teams with a boost from the season of 2018/19.
Traditionally the African Cup of Nations has been held in the months of January and February and this obviously posed problems for top flight teams and Championship sides in particular with call ups hitting the New Year period, and there have been plenty of disputes over the years with domestic clubs not wanting to lose key players at an important part of the year.
Last season in particular there were disputes for West Bromwich Albion over Allan Nyom and Liverpool over Joel Matip with Cameroon where even though they weren't selected for the squad's, a delay in paperwork certainly irked the clubs as at international level countries can effectively ban players from club football such are the stupidity of the rules.
And those are two I remember off the top of my head, they most certainly aren't the only two issues in recent years.
Whilst changes to the AFCON set up from 2018/19 wasn't solely driven by such incidents, with the competition now moving to the months of June and July it will obviously have a positive impact at club level.
The changes were ratified last week by the CAF executive committee in a meeting in the Moroccan capital Rabat and they are increasing the competition from a 16 side tournament to a 24 team tournament from that year as well.
It will continue to be played every two years.
A natural follow on from the change will naturally see African players become more attractive to English and European sides now that they won't have to factor in their potential loss every other New Year period, and already handling extended breaks over the summer when internationals hit, factoring AFCON duty and pre season won't be an issue for clubs either.