CAF executives rose from a Thursday meeting reaching two key decisions towards the development of the continental tournament, the Africa Cup of nations; first the number of participating countries where increased from 16 to 24, while the period of the event will hence take place from June-July, key reason being that it will accommodate more of African footballers who ply their trade in Europe.
While the first decision may not have serious challenges, the decision to host the tournament around June-July will be faced with serious whether challenges in most African countries. Considering the fact that most Africa nations have not gotten the technological facilities to effectively tackle the rainy season, its really going to be a tough decision.
Generally speaking, November to April is the dry season in West Africa and this could also be the major reason the Africa Cup of Nations was considered to take place around January-February and that tradition sustained for a very long period despite the then CAF executive knowing the effect it has on players plying their trade in Europe. Interestingly, the Southern areas of West Africa also have two rainy seasons, one lasting from the end of April to mid-July, and another shorter one in September and October.
In East Africa, similar situations may be faced in some nations when the Africa Cup of Nations is hosted there. East Africa’s dry season lasts from July to September, when the weather is usually sunny and rain-free making it ideal for such the AFCON competition to hold. April to June in East Africa is usually wet and the rain forests in nations like Rwanda and Uganda experiences rain and frequent rain forest.
In South Africa, the weather is most likely to be favourable as South Africa has a warm temperate climate making the June-July period a very convenient time for the Africa Cup of nations if it will be hosted there. The convenience of the weather made it possible for South Africa to comfortably host the Fifa World Cup in 2010 between June to July without the global event facing any issue of rain.
In North Africa, there is no rainy season as such, the time of the year with the most rainfall coincides with the North Africa winter, while the summer period is between June to September which constitutes the dry season in most North Africa countries.
Basically, weather situation have not been a challenge towards the Africa Cup of Nations since its been organized in January-February period, though the new period (June-July) may be a welcomed development, but it is really going to propel African nations towards seeking a rapid technological advancement towards managing the weather situation, or this may just be the begin of the rain makers in promoting African football.