Following the overlapping of the FIFA Club World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations finals in January, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has turned down the request of Egypt’s Al Ahly to move up the January 9 date set for the continental premier football tournament.
Ahly are the current African Champions League winner and also have a considerable number of players in the Egyptian squad.
There are players of other national teams that will also be affected. They are: Ali Maaloul (Tunisia), Aliou Dieng (Mali) and Badr Benoun (Morocco).
Al Ahly are set to participate in the 2021 Club World Cup, their second under Pitso Mosimane, from 3 February 2022 to the 12th, in the United Arab Emirates.
If Egypt, Mali and Morocco reach the knockout stages of AFCON, Al Ahly will have to compete in the Club World Cup without these key players.
The African champions have, therefore, demanded the Egyptian FA to play the role in helping them resolve this issue.
In their statement, Al Ahly revealed that they sent a letter to the EFA in which they emphasized on the role they played in always helping the national team throughout history.
They also claimed that they need full support of Egypt’s football governing body as they will not only be representing Egypt but also the whole African continent.
According to Egyptian publication Ahram, CAF rejected the appeal and announced that the kick-off date for the Africa Cup of Nations remains 9 January.
Egypt will feature in Group D along with Nigeria, Sudan and Guinea Bissau.