The upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco might begin in mid-December to accommodate the expanded Club World Cup and the new Champions League format next year, according to sources from the Guardian. However, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) has firmly denied rumors that the tournament might switch to a four-year cycle.

Originally scheduled for June and July 2025 to minimize conflicts with European club schedules, Caf recently refuted claims that the tournament would be postponed to January 2026 due to the Club World Cup, which will take place in the United States from June 15 to July 13, 2025.

A final decision is expected soon, but sources indicate that key figures in Morocco’s organizing committee are advocating for the group stage to commence in mid-December, concluding with the final in mid-January. This timing could conflict with the Premier League’s busy festive schedule, where 17 out of 20 clubs had representatives in the last Afcon in Ivory Coast.

The situation is further complicated by the expanded Champions League, which adds two match days in late January, overlapping with the traditional Afcon window of mid-January to mid-February and potentially causing more disruption.

Caf has not dismissed the possibility of a December start for the group stage, despite prolonged discussions without consensus. Earlier reports suggested a provisional agreement to hold the tournament from July 20 to August 17, 2025, to avoid a clash with the Club World Cup, a proposal reportedly supported by Fifa. However, this option seems less likely as negotiations continue. This would mark the seventh consecutive Afcon to be rescheduled.

Luxulo September, Caf’s head of media relations, stated on X that there is no official position on the dates for AFCON 2025, confirming ongoing discussions among stakeholders. The Caf Executive Committee is expected to make a decision soon.

Some African national associations have expressed concerns about accelerating plans to hold the tournament every four years instead of two, a change proposed by Fifa president Gianni Infantino in 2020 for commercial benefits. However, Caf sources dismissed this as unfeasible, and president Patrice Motsepe, elected in 2021, has committed to maintaining the biennial schedule. Motsepe has not yet announced if he will seek re-election next year.