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AFCON 2019 dates changed for Ramadan

BY: bbc.com
AFCON 2019: Dates changed for Ramadan
AFCON 2019: Dates changed for Ramadan

The Africa Cup of Nations has been delayed to allow players to rest after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The four-week long event will now kick off on June 21 with the final set for July 19 instead of June 15 to July 13.

The change was announced by tournament director and former Egypt international Mohamed Fadl.

"The decision was taken following requests from Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria who want their players to have time to rest after Ramadan," he said.

The Confederation of African Football has also confirmed the draw for the final will be on 12 April.

Ramadan, when Muslims abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset, is due to start at the beginning of May until the beginning of June.

The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will for the first time this year take place in the summer and feature 24 teams rather than sixteen.

Egypt was chosen to host the tournament to replace Cameroon, who were stripped of the hosting rights due to slow preparations and security concerns.