Sports News of Wed, 26 Jul 20173
Agyemang-Badu reflects on change in Afcon schedule
The Black Star welcomes the new reform as good news to players and European clubs
Ghana midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu believes the change in the Africa Cup of Nations timing will ease pressure off players who ply their trade in the major European leagues.
Last week, Caf Executive Committee passed a resolution to move the tournament from its usual January/February date to June/July following a proposal from the first African Football Symposium.
Many say the decision will put to bed the usual club-vs-country player conundrum that always accompanies the continental showpiece, an opinion shared by the Udinese man.
"The June-July schedule will ease the pressure on clubs and the players because now we don't have to have to be away for long in midseason," Badu told KweseESPN.
"Once the releases were backed by Fifa, the clubs knew they had no choice.
"But you could always tell when the invitation arrived that they were not happy because January is such an important time of the season and getting players in tends to be more difficult."
There was another major change to the flagship continental championship as the tournament will now welcome 24 teams, as against 16 of the old order.
The new developments are set to take effect from the 2019 showpiece in Cameroon.
"It will be interesting because whoever wins will have to sweat it out," Badu said.
"It was 16 teams in the past which meant fewer games for so many years, but we will adapt to it and [it will] make the competition very solid.
"As far as I am concerned however the most significant change from a player's perspective is the change from January to June."
Badu, 26, has so far played for Ghana at five Nations Cup events since making his tournament debut at Angola 2010.
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