African Cup of Nations 2021 set to take place in January and February

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The 2021 African Cup of Nations is set to be played in January and February.

Journalist Mansour Loum revealed that an announcement is expected on Wednesday confirming the tournament will revert back to a January/February format for next year.

The 2019 edition, held in Egypt, took place during the summer with Algeria beating Senegal 1-0 in the final.

It was expected that the proceeding tournaments would follow.

However, it’s now being reported that the 2021 tournament held in Cameroon will take place in January.

Loum revealed that each edition will be scheduled on a case-by-case basis depending on the host country. Basically, the AFCON is without fixed dates and can be played at any time of the year.

June and July is rainy season in Cameroon and it will clash with the new Club World Cup which is set to start next summer. Therefore, it will now be switched to winter.

Of course, this will massively affect clubs from around Europe.

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None more so than Liverpool.

It means the Reds will lose the likes of Naby Keita, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane for around six weeks during a very important stage of the season.

How does any team cope will losing three key players for so long?

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Well, Liverpool fans are already fearing the worst. Check out the reaction on social media to the news:

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It will certainly be interesting to see how Jurgen Klopp plans to survive without the trio.

Does he counter it by signing potential replacements in the transfer window?

But signings players just to cover players for a few weeks may not be the most sensible thing to do.

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When the AFCON decided it would move its biannual tournament to the summer back in 2017, Klopp admitted that it was a huge relief.

“Yes, already: fantastic. When we signed Mo Salah we were already thinking ‘oh my god, we’ll lose both [him and Mane] in one-and-a-half years in the winter,’” he said.

“That obviously will not happen now, so that gives us two more players in winter in 2018/19, so that’s very good.”

But in just 12 months time, that very nightmare is set to happen.

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