Former Egypt and Premier League star Mido has hit back at the news that FIFA’s Club World Cup will now be re-scheduled and cross over with the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Following the withdrawal of hosts Japan on precautionary Covid grounds, with the country having battled its worst wave of infections yet the competition will now take part in February as AFCON reaches its peak.
After hearing the news, former striker Mido has hit back at the decision and suggested that it shows a blatant disregard for African football.
‘FIFA deciding to hold the Club World Cup while AFCON is going on is a sign of disrespect to African football,’ the former Ajax and Tottenham striker said on Twitter.
Mido, who featured for Tottenham, Middlesbrough, Wigan, Ajax and more during his playing career, added that such a move simply wouldn’t have been the case with the Euros or Copa America.
His tweet in full read: ‘Holding the FIFA Club World Cup to coincide with the African Nations Cup is disrespectful from the International Confederation of African Football..
‘Can the International Federation hold the tournament at the same time as the European Nations Cup or at the same time as Copa America? of course not!!’
The revised dates clash with the culmination of the Africa Cup of Nations, which will see the continent’s national champions decided in the final on February 6 in Cameroon.
Egyptian club Al Ahly will be Africa’s representatives in the UAE and could be without several players depending on their respective countries’ progress at the Nations Cup.
Al Ahly says its participation in the tournament will be impacted as the club expects to have ‘more than seven players’ in the Egypt squad for the Nations Cup, along with three other internationals on duty in Cameroon.
The Cairo-based outfit will write official letters to the Egyptian FA, Nations Cup organisers Confederation of African Football and FIFA on Tuesday, requesting the three bodies ‘collaborate to resolve the clash of dates’ between the two events.
Al Ahly, holders of the African Champions League, will face CF Monterrey of Mexico when they enter the Club World Cup in the second round, which is likely to take place on the same day as the Nations Cup final.
Champions League winners Chelsea are Europe’s representatives at the Club World Cup and they could be without Edouard Mendy and Hakim Ziyech due to their involvements at AFCON with Senegal and Morocco respectively.