26 Feb 2011

Frustration for top Euro clubs as African Cup dates extended

12:52 pm on 26 February 2011

Top European football clubs will be missing their best African players and are expected to be furious at news next year's Africa Cup of Nations will be staged from January 21st to February 12th.

The Confederation of African Football moved the last Cup of Nations dates forward in response to constant club-versus-country clashes over the release of stars, the tournament ending on the final day of January in Angolan capital Luanda.

But the Europe-based footballers will miss more club commitments now the organisation has reverted to a traditional mid-February climax in 2012, with the event to be hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

A footballer from a finalist would be away for at least five weeks with the mandatory 14 preparatory days followed by the three-week tournament.

Several more days can be added for celebrations if his team lift the trophy.