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Egyptian side request AFCON start date change over Club World Cup clash

Tom Gott
Salah could be called away from Liverpool earlier than expected
Salah could be called away from Liverpool earlier than expected / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages
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Egyptian giants Al Ahly have urged the country's FA to bring the Africa Cup of Nations forward a week, which would have drastic implications for the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool.

Al Ahly are set to head to the Club World Cup on 3 February, 2022, where they will face off against the likes of European champions Chelsea for global dominance, but the problem is that tournament starts three days before the scheduled end of the AFCON on 6 February.

For weeks now, Al Ahly have been trying to get the AFCON moved forwards from 9 January to 3 January, to allow their players to feature at both tournaments, but such a decision would have a major impact all across the globe.

In the Premier League, Liverpool are set to travel to Chelsea on 2 January and would have to do so without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, while Thomas Tuchel's men would also lose goalkeeper Edouard Mendy if the tournament was brought forward.

Arsenal are also scheduled to face Manchester City on New Year's Day and would likely be without Thomas Partey, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe and Mohamed Elneny for the game if the date was changed.

Premier League clubs are resigned to the fact that they have little say in the Confederation of African Football (CAF)'s decision.

"Al Ahly SC sent an official letter to the Egyptian Football Association (EFA), calling on the governing body of Egyptian football to take their responsibility and solve the clash of dates between the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, scheduled between 9 January and 6 February 2022, and the FIFA Club World Cup in the UAE, scheduled from 3 to 12 February 2022," Al Ahly's statement read.

"This clash of dates will not allow the Egyptian national team to count on Al Ahly international players in the continental competition or will not allow Al Ahly to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup with the club’s full squad of players.

"In addition, Al Ahly will not be able to take the club’s foreign players participating in the Africa Cup of Nations with Tunisia, Mali and Morocco to the FIFA Club World Cup.

"Al Ahly mentioned in the letter that the club has addressed the EFA with the problem but the club did not receive any positive answers to date.

"Moreover, Al Ahly highlighted in the letter that the club has been supportive to the national team in all official and friendly participation and never used FIFA regulations against the EFA. However, the club will need his best players when Al Ahly represents Egyptian and African football against the champions of the continents in the FIFA Club World Cup. 

"Al Ahly believes that the EFA will provide full support to the club and will figure out possible solutions that will allow Al Ahly international players to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup."

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