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African Cup of Nations 2025 in Morocco Rescheduled to December 2025 and January 2026

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Prince Jean

Jun 22, 2024

CAN 2025

CAF announces the rescheduling of the African Cup of Nations 2025! The tournament will now take place in Morocco from December 21, 2025, to January 18, 2026. Credit: CAF Online

As anticipated, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has officially rescheduled the African Cup of Nations (CAN) 2025. The tournament will now take place in Morocco from December 21, 2025, to January 18, 2026. This decision follows the announcement of the Club World Cup, slated for summer 2025. This marks the third consecutive postponement of the CAN, following delays for the 2021 edition in Cameroon and the 2023 edition in Côte d'Ivoire.

The CAF Executive Committee also announced the dates for the CAF TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON), which will also be hosted in Morocco.

Initially, CAF had scheduled CAN 2025 for July-August to avoid overlapping with the first 32-team Club World Cup, set for June 15 to July 13, 2025, in the United States. However, the summer schedule proved too congested, prompting concerns from various soccer associations about the overwhelming workload on players and teams.

Despite CAF's previous denial of postponement rumors, General Secretary Veron Mosengo-Omba hinted at a possible delay in an interview with AFP, stating that discussions were at an advanced stage and a decision would be announced soon. The postponement has now been confirmed.

The 35th edition of CAN will make history with its unique scheduling, spanning two calendar years for the first time. The tournament will commence on December 21, 2025, and conclude on January 18, 2026. This shift deviates from the traditional CAN schedule, which typically begins in early January and concludes in early February.

The new dates aim to prevent clashes with the newly implemented UEFA Champions League format, set to take effect in 2024. Under the new format, the Champions League group stage's sixth matchday will end in mid-December, with the seventh matchday beginning around January 21. This arrangement allows players participating in European leagues and the UEFA Champions League to represent their national teams without scheduling conflicts.

CAF has shown a pattern of adjusting its schedules since CAN 2012, reflecting a consistent trend of flexibility in response to various logistical challenges.

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