10 Mar, 08:58
The vice-president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has rejected claims that the timing of the Africa Cup of Nations is wrong.
English Premier League club's incensed by the loss of key players while the AFCON is going in on January, believe that holding the Nations Cup during the English season is bizarre.
But Suketu Patel, who is the CAF vice-chair says the tournament schedule was carefully thought through.
-Perhaps the solution lies not with the Nations Cup but within the English league.
-We can't look at the situation purely from what the English league's problems are, Patel told the BBC.
Climatic conditions will not allow
-The time has been agreed with FIFA [and] the climatic conditions in certain parts of Africa do not allow us to play in [northern hemisphere] summer time, Patel said.
-It can be extremely hot in the northern part [of Africa] and in some places you have problems with rain.
And he pointed out that a change of schedule to suit one country would penalise clubs elsewhere, who also employ African players.
-You have to appreciate that there are a lot of players in China or Doha or the South African league, where the timing is not the same as the English league, Patel said.
-So if we were to go to June, you would have other leagues saying exactly what the club's are saying now.
Patel's assertion, means that the 2013 AFCON will likely be held in January, just a year after the 2012 edition, which will likely anger the clubs.