The finals of the African Cup of Nations Cups will continue to be played in January on a biannual basis, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed.
The timing of the tournament, which falls in mid-season in Europe, where most of the participants play their club football, has been heavily criticised by players and coaches, but CAF say that it would be impractical to move it.
“It is not even a matter for discussion,” CAF general secretary Mustapha Fahmy told Reuters. “The tournament will stay as is it is.
“Even coaches from big European clubs, like Arsene Wenger and Laurent Blanc, have made it clear they understand that when they sign an African player there is a chance that every two years he will have to go to the Nations Cup,” Fahmy added.
However, CAF confirmed that it may start the next finals in Angola in 2010 one week earlier.
CAF have already designated their next three tournaments in 2010, 2012 and 2014 and last year signed an eight-year extension to their marketing contract with French company Sport Five.
CAF president Issa Hayatou has repeatedly said the Nations Cup could not be moved to June or July because of the rainy season across central and western Africa.