Atsu unhappy with Afcon timing

The midfielder has added his voice to concerns raised by other players that the Afcon should be held after the season

Ghana midfielder Christian Atsu wants Caf to review the timing of the Africa Cup of Nations to end of the European calendar in order to benefit players, especially those plying their trade in Europe.

The 25-year-old, who was adjudged best player at the 2015 edition, claims that several African players lose their position at their club sides upon their return from Afcon.

“I think this goes to Caf because they need to realise that when players are doing well [at their club side] and go to Afcon in January, when they come back, there is someone playing in their position and if that person is performing, it is difficult to win it back,” Atsu told TV3.

“Caf need to do something about the tournament in January. It needs to be moved to end of the season. For me when the season ends, a lot more people can watch the Afcon because there is no football. There will be more scouts, more fans and that would mean bigger exposure for African football,” he added.

However, Ghana deputy captain and West Ham United star Andre Ayew has different opinion. The midfielder admits the challenges but insists that Africa is where the players belong and must be strong to face such difficulties.

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“I think it is a great tournament. We really love and no one will ever say no but it is true that the period is not easy for African players," Ayew said.

"You leave your club, you can go back with injuries, lose your position, the club can bring other players, and players lose out deals. It is difficult but it is ours. It is not an easy corner but that is where we have to be strong as African players,” he added.

Ghana will face Uganda, Mali and Egypt in Group D of the 2017 Afcon.