The Coronavirus pandemic could have an effect on the forthcoming 2021 Africa Cup of Nations and last edition’s winner Adlene Guedioura wants tournament cancelled or postponed.
The tournament due in Cameroon was brought forward from June and July to January and February because of the “unfavourable” weather in host country Cameroon at that time of year.
“I know that Africa Cup of Nations is important and it’s good for the countries to organise it but this one in 2021 I think it should be cancelled or postponed,” Guedioura told BBC World Service.
“First they said it was in summer, then in winter, now we have the coronavirus which makes it more difficult to complete the qualification games.
“I think they should decide maybe to have it later. That would help many of the nations and many of the players also who represent Africa in the world.”
The former Watford and Crystal Palace midfielder believes the congestion in European leagues at the time could be high given the current crisis and is a fan of having the Afcon played in summer like it was in Egypt last year.
“It’s much better to do it in the European summer anyway. I think the best Cup of Nations was the last one in the summer and it’s not just because we won it.
“With a Cup of Nations in January it’s in the middle of the season, you come back straight away to play for your club and you can get injured or you can lose your place in the team.
“If you’re not Salah or Mahrez or Mane, if you’re a player who always has to fight for his place [at his club], the manager can decide to pick other players which isn’t good.
“I remember most of the Algeria players told our manager Djamel Belmadi we’d prefer it in the summer.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if the tournament is postponed or cancelled to be honest. It’s something they need to discuss. To organise this Cup of Nations will be very tough.”
Already this year, the 2020 Africa Nations Championships have been postponed although no dates have been set by Caf although it appears it won’t be happening this year.