- The Africa Cup of Nations has been moved back to a winter tournament next year
- The return to the previous schedule will conflict with Premier League as well as others
- Most of Premier League teams would lose the services of key players
The schedule of AFCON has been moved back to Winter, which would conflict with schedule of Premier League as well as other leagues.
Jurgen Klopp and many others would face selection headache during January-February in 2021, with the Africa Cup of Nations moving back to a January start date. The players may not be available upto six club matches if their national team progress to knock-out stages in Africa Cup of Nations.
The tournament was moved to the summer months following a decision by their executive committee in 2017 with the 2019 staging taking place in Egypt from June into July.
However, after just one tournament there is talk of it being switched back to its original January-February format for Cameroon 2021. Reports on Wednesday suggested that the topic would be discussed when the executive committee meet in Yaounde, Cameroon, and president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Ahmad Ahmad has hinted that the move would be preferable.
This change is due to the temperature and weather being more favourable in the earlier part of the year, while it would also appease FIFA by no longer clashing with the revamped Club World Cup which is due to kick-off in 2021.
The decision leaves a host of Premier League clubs, including Liverpool, without some of their star players for up to six matches.
Liverpool, for example would be without their star men Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, who represent Senegal and Egypt respectively. Other clubs would also face unavailability of key players. Arsenal would also be in trouble, with striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang representing Gabon. Nicolas Pepe could reach the tournament with the Ivory Coast, too.
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English Premier League Players to be unavailable during AFCON-Cameroon-2021
|Arsenal||Nicolas Pepe||Ivory Coast|
|Aston Villa||Ahmed Elmohamady||Egypt|
|Aston Villa||Jonathan Kodjia||Ivory Coast|
|Crystal Palace||Jeffrey Schlupp||Ghana|
|Crystal Palace||Cheikhou Kouyate||Senegal|
|Crystal Palace||Wilfried Zaha||Ivory Coast|
|Crystal Palace||Jordan Ayew||Ghana|
|Everton||Jean-Philippe Gbamin||Ivory Coast|
|Everton||Beni Baningime||DR Congo|
|Leicester City||Daniel Amartey||Ghana|
|Leicester City||Wilfred Ndidi||Nigeria|
|Leicester City||Kelechi Iheanacho||Nigeria|
|Manchester City||Riyad Mahrez||Algeria|
|Manchester United||Eric Bailly||Ivory Coast|
|Newcastle United||Christian Atsu||Ghana|
|Norwich City||Ibrahim Amadou||Cameroon|
|Tottenham||Serge Aurier||Ivory Coast|
|West Ham||Arthur Masuaku||DR Congo|
|Wolves||Willy Boly||Ivory Coast|