The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has revealed that the kick-off date for the 2019 AFCON finals will be delayed by a week.
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) which will be hosted by Egypt had been initially scheduled to run from June 15 to July 13 is now set to start on June 21 instead of 14 June and runs until 19th of July.
The decision to delay the tournament by a week was made at an Emergency Committee meeting on Sunday.
Yaya Toure lifts AFCON trophy . PHOTO| GOAL.COM
Some reports suggest that the Afcon programme was altered to allow some players recover from the Ramadan fast.
“The decision was taken following requests from Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, who want their players to have time to rest after Ramadan,” Tournament director and former Egypt international Mohamed Fadl said.
The draw will take place on Friday 12 April 2019 after the final round of qualifiers is played.
“During its meeting held in Cairo on the 26th of January 2019, Caf Emergency Committee decided to validate the new dates of the final tournament of the Total Africa Cup of Nations – Egypt 2019 as requested by the host country in order to start on the 21st of June 2019 until the 19th of July 2019,” Caf said.
Twenty-four teams will take part in the competition for the first time in history. Cairo will be home to two stadiums, including the 74,100-capacity Cairo Stadium where the opening match will be played.
Two stadiums will be used in Alexandria and two others in Suez, while Port-Said and Ismailia will provide one each.