Actually, the Africa Cup of Nations 2025 should take place in Guinea – but the country lacks infrastructure. Not the only problem surrounding the prestigious tournament.
Patrice Motsepe is once again on a delicate mission. The President of the African Football Association (CAF) has traveled to Algeria to take part in the draw for CHAN next January. In this competition, the Africa Cup is played between those players who are actually still employed on the African continent.
Guinea is not ready for the 2025 Cup
Before attending the “small” Africa Cup of Nations, however, Motsepe had to complete a much more difficult task in connection with the “big” Africa Cup of Nations: he had to inform the transitional government in Guinea that their country would be withdrawn from hosting the 2025 Cup . “The infrastructure in Guinea is not yet advanced enough,” explained Motsepe.
The South African businessman, who has been CAF President since March 2021, had previously met in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, with the military Mamadi Doumbouya, who has been acting as interim president of the West African country for a good year. Dombouya is the leader of the putschists who arrested Guinean President Alpha Condé on September 5, 2021.
Substitute for Guinea: CHAN 2027
In return, Motsepe reportedly offered the Guinean government the hosting of the “small” Africa Nations Cup CHAN 2027. Only 16 teams play at CHAN, while the classic Africa Cup of Nations has been played with 24 teams since 2019.
Actually, the Africa Cup should also serve to help smaller countries with the development of their football infrastructure. However, financially weak countries like Guinea are hardly in a position to provide the number of stadiums and hotels for such a bloated cup.
Appointment becomes a political issue
In addition to the problematic provision of the infrastructure, the date of the Africa Cup is also becoming a political issue. Europe’s big leagues have been protesting against the traditional date in January/February for many years, because then their African stars are not available for league operations for weeks.
Since then, moving the cup to the European summer has been discussed time and again, but just as often rejected. Only the 2019 edition in Egypt took place in the summer months, the following 2021 cup in Cameroon was again held in winter (officially for climatic reasons).
And the next edition in Ivory Coast, which was also recently postponed from 2023 to 2024 due to the infrastructure not being built in time, has been rescheduled to January/February.