Black Stars to focus on World Cup as CAF postpones September Afcon qualifiers

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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has postponed qualifying matches for the Africa Cup of Nations, which were scheduled for September, in order to assist Ghana and other African teams in preparing for the 2022 World Cup.

According to AFP, the games have been pushed back to March 2023.

The decision to postpone the qualifiers was made easier when the finals, originally scheduled for June and July next year in Ivory Coast, were moved to January-February 2024 to avoid the rainy season.

“The postponement of the Cup of Nations offered an opportunity to reschedule the remaining qualifying matches,” a document addressed to the members of the executive committee of the CAF, which has been seen by AFP, outlined.

“It also makes it possible to open the dates in September to international friendly matches for preparation for the World Cup.”

Senegal, who won the 2022 Cup of Nations in February, Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco and Tunisia have qualified for the World Cup to be staged in Qatar from November 21-December 18.

The third and fourth rounds of qualifying for the 2024 Cup of Nations will take place in March 2023, match days five and six will be held in June with the sixth day set for September.

Black Stars were supposed to play a doubleheader against Angola in September.

The Ghana Football Association is expected to take advantage of the free window by organising friendlies for the Black Stars. One pre-World Cup warm-up match against Switzerland has already been scheduled.

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