The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations has been postponed to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) confirmed the decision in an Executive Committee meeting on Tuesday, as the continent continues to battle the spread of the disease.
The continental tournament was scheduled to begin on 9 January next year in Cameroon but will now be played from January 2022.
While details remain scanty, reports indicate that the decision by CAF was made due to fears that the remaining qualifiers may not be held in time for the Cameroon showdown.
There was however no mention of whether the subsequent tournament, AFCON 2023 will also be pushed back.
AFCON dates were changed from the last edition as CAF sought to streamline the tournament with the international calendar, but the 2021 edition was left for January due to the unfavorable mid-year weather conditions in Cameroon.
CAF also confirmed the 2020 African Nations Championship – the biennial tournament for home-based players – will be played next year, having originally been scheduled for April 2020. The 2020 African women cup of nations have been canceled altogether.
Africa had reported more than 397,000 COVID-19 infections and over 9,900 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon, according to data from worldometer.
AFCON is Africa’s biggest football event, bringing together 24 teams to battle for continental glory.
Algeria is the defending champion, having beaten Senegal in the 2019 edition held in Egypt.