Thursday, January 17, 2008

Cup of Nations Scheduling and FIFA's Reaction

*Note: For the duration of the Cup of Nations, I've put up Cup links and the full Cup schedule to the right. They're some goodies there, so make sure to check them out. Clogs the blog up some, but it's only for a few days. Enjoy! - C*

The war between the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and football's world governing body FIFA over the African Cup of Nations scheduling is heating up.

Earlier today, the CAF announced an earlier start to the 2010 African Cup of Nations in Angola. They'll start 10 days earlier, January 10 and run until January 31. This was done to appease European football clubs, who lose players during the event.

However, it will provide no relief for clubs in European countries who do not have a winter break, such as England, where more than 40 players at the 2008 event play their club football.

CAF have made it clear they will not change the overall timing of the Cup, which is held every two years.

Diverse climate conditions on the continent have been cited by CAF as the reason for not moving the finals to June or July.

Well, here comes FIFA chief Sepp Blatter to change all that around.
Mr. Blatter told the BBC that the Cup's schedule must be changed by 2016.

"This is a tradition, but one should now have the courage to go into the international calendar and see if it's not possible to deal with it," said Blatter.

"We put a target for 2016 that by that time the international calendar must be definitely in accordance with the interests of everybody."

Whose interest? Africa's? Or Europe's?

There would be the problem of a clash with the World Cup every four years, but Blatter suggested that the Nations Cup could be moved to odd years.

I don't know. Sounds like the beginnings of a war.


Just-Football: said...

no surprise to see sepp blatter yet again pandering to the major european clubs. its funny, i never see anyone suggest the world club championships should be moved to a 'more convenient' schedule. i hope africa stays strong on this one and doesn't cave in to people like blatter and his flippant disregard of the tournament's traditions.

Anonymous said...

A Nigerian adage says that a monkey gradually turns into a baboon in small incremental steps if not watched closely. First FIFA wants the African Nations Cup moved to summer, then it wants it moved to odd years. Who knows, Afica will soon be asked to hold the championships every four years instead and then perhaps to hold it in Europe if the summer weather in Africa is too harsh. Then African players may be asked to sign a bond against playing for their national teams. It goes on and on. Africa, not just CAF, must resist this, since Hayatou may accept anything to hang onto power beyond 2009. Neo-colonisation comes in many forms, and this is a typical example. (Mark Azih, Ekpoma, Nigeria)