Ghana star Christian Atsu wants the Confederation of African Football to reconsider the timing of the Nations Cup because he feels it is affecting the key actors – players – too much.
The midfielder was working his way up at Newcastle United but has had to leave club duties and focus on international football.
While Atsu never considered turning his back on international duty, he says the timing of the tournament complicates things for African players.
“I think this goes to CAF because they need to realise that when a player is doing well and goes to AFCON in January, when they come back, there is someone playing in their position and if that person is playing good it is difficult to win it back,” he told TV3 in an exclusive interview.
“CAF needs to do something about the tournament in January. It needs to be moved to the end of the season. For me when the season ends, a lot more people can watch the AFCON because there is no football. There will be more scouts, more fans and that would mean bigger exposure for African football.”
West Ham’s Andre Ayew understands the difficulties but says until a solution is found then, African players have a responsibility to make the Nations Cup an awesome competition.
“I think it is a great tournament. We really love and no one will ever say no but it is true that the period is not easy for African players. You leave your club, you can go back with injuries, lose your position, the club can bring other players, players lose out of deals. It is difficult but it is ours. It is not an easy corner but that is where we have to be strong as African players.”