After a controversial decision was made to play the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations tournament in January 2021, one of the continent's greatest-ever players has revealed that the tournament causes problems for players and their clubs.
Earlier in the month, it was confirmed that the 2021 edition of the AFCON would return to the January spot on the calendar in order to accommodate weather conditions in Cameroon and the revamped FIFA Club World Cup.
That decision has divided opinion as it falls in the middle of the European season, with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp previously blasting the lack of cohesion between FIFA and its federations when it comes to scheduling the international calendar.
Former Nigeria international Nwankwo Kanu has now added his voice to the debate, revealing that the January tournament makes causes problems between European-based African players and their clubs.
"If you ask any player, playing the Nations Cup in January leads to problems with the clubs," Kanu told ESPN.
"Whenever the league is on, it is always difficult for clubs to release all these good players to come back to play for their country. Then you have these issues between the club and the country.
"Taking it back means the same thing is going to start again. They should have just left it the way it was so that clubs who want our best players will still go for them."
The two-time African Footballer of the Year made 87 appearances for Nigeria and was part of the Super Eagles side who ended as runners-up at the 2000 AFCON.
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