President of FIFA Gianni Infantino has told African football leaders to follow European calendar by changing January date,for its continents biggest Football Mundial AFCON.
The FIFA boss made this assertion in the on-going Historic African Football Symposium at Rabat, the Moroccan capital.
Coaches,Players,Some scorer Administrators and Pundits have called for the Africa Cup of Nations to be moved to a different time of year from winter to summer.
Each of the 55 Member Associations affiliated to CAF is represented at the two-day event by its president, General Secretary and National Coach.
In the latter category, we can mention renowned technical brains with a good knowledge and experience of African football such as Claude Le Roy,Florent Ibenge,Herve Renard amongst others.
Others are decorated former footballers in the history of African football like Joseph-Antoine Bell, Rabah Madjer, Ahmed Faras, Austin “Jay-Jay” Okocha, Badou Zaki, Anthony Baffoe, Mohammed Timoumi, Hossam Hassan, Patrick Mboma, Geremi Njitap, etc. as well as Club leaders such as Roger Ouegnin, president of Ivorian giants, ASEC Mimosas, and Irvin Khoza of South African club, Orlando Pirates.
Also in attendance will be a FIFA delegation led by President, Gianni Infantino, General Secretary, Fatma Samoura ,CAF President Ahmad and Executives .
Continental change and Debate
Truly, the old days are long gone when the AFCON or Nations Cup used to be dominated by home-based payers, with only few players from overseas.
Nowadays, especially since the days of the Bosman ruling, the number of African players in Europe has continued to increase greatly and as such the AFCON in recent years has featured mostly players based in Europe.
So for these players to leave their various European leagues, in the middle of the season, to play in the Nations Cup at the beginning of the year is something too difficult for them but they have got not much option than to honour their countries’ call at the detriment of their club careers.
Some also believes is neo-colonialism telling African football to follow a European calendar.
The African Football Symposium is organized under the High Patronage of the King of Morocco, His Majesty Mohammed VI.