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AFCON expanded, dates moved to June/July

Cameroon’s players celebrate with the winner’s trophy after defeating Egypt 2-1 to win the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, at the Stade de l’Amitie Sino-Gabonaise in Libreville, on February 5

RABAT, Morocco, Jul 21- The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will be held in June and July, the Confederation of African Football has confirmed.

The tournament is usually held in January and February, causing disputes with European clubs who had to release players in the middle of the season.

The 2019 event in Cameroon will be contested by 24 teams, instead of 16.

The changes were rubber-stamped by the CAF executive committee in a meeting in the Moroccan capital Rabat.

Africa’s flagship sporting event has featured 16 teams since 1996.

The expansion of the tournament could create problems for Cameroon, which will host the next finals, with the Central African nation’s sports minister having to deny reports that preparations were behind schedule.

The competition will continue to be held every two years, in Africa and only with African countries. Caf was considering whether to allow countries from other continents to compete – or even host the tournament.

The announcements follow a two-day symposium organised by Caf president Ahmad to discuss the state of African football.

-By BBC

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