Premier and other top Leagues could miss players as AFCON moved to winter

Premier League clubs could miss players as AFCON moved back to winter
  • 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. 

English Premier League Players to be unavailable during AFCON-Cameroon-2021

ArsenalPierre-Emerick AubameyangGabon
ArsenalNicolas PepeIvory Coast
Aston VillaAhmed Elmohamady Egypt
Aston VillaTrezeguetEgypt
Aston VillaJonathan Kodjia Ivory Coast
Brighton Gaetan Bong Cameroon
BrightonLeon BalogunNigeria
BrightonYves Bissouma Mali
Crystal PalaceJeffrey SchluppGhana
Crystal PalaceCheikhou KouyateSenegal
Crystal PalaceWilfried ZahaIvory Coast
Crystal PalaceJordan AyewGhana
EvertonJean-Philippe GbaminIvory Coast
EvertonBeni BaningimeDR Congo
EvertonOumar Niasse Senegal
EvertonAlex Iwobi Nigeria
Leicester CityDaniel Amartey Ghana
Leicester CityWilfred NdidiNigeria
Leicester CityKelechi IheanachoNigeria
Liverpool Naby Keita Guinea
LiverpoolSadio Mane Senegal
LiverpoolMohamed SalahEgypt
Manchester CityRiyad MahrezAlgeria
Manchester UnitedEric BaillyIvory Coast
Newcastle UnitedChristian AtsuGhana
Norwich CityIbrahim Amadou Cameroon
SouthamptonMoussa DjenepoMali
SouthamptonSofiane Boufal Morocco
TottenhamSerge Aurier Ivory Coast
TottenhamVictor WanyamaKenya
WatfordIsaac SuccessNigeria
WatfordIsmaila Sarr Senegal
West HamArthur MasuakuDR Congo
WolvesWilly Boly Ivory Coast
WolvesRomain SaissMorocco