Liverpool boss rejoices over new Afcon schedule

The Reds manager is happy with the reviewed Afcon calendar which will ‘prevent him from losing influential players’

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is over the moon about the change in schedule of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Last week, Caf Executive Committee passed a resolution to move the tournament from its usual January/February date to June/July following a proposal from the first African Football Symposium.

Considering the usual club-vs-country clashes that have always characterized the Afcon, many, particularly European club officials, have welcomed the new development which effectively puts the rifts to bed.

"It's fantastic," said Klopp, whose side recently completed the signing of Egypt playmaker Mohamed Salah from Italian club AS Roma, on the development.

"When we signed Mo Salah, I was already thinking 'Oh my God in one-and-a-half years we lose both in the winter'.

"But that's not happening now, so that gives us two more players in winter time. That's very good."

At the previous Afcon, Liverpool were caught up in a fierce battle with Cameroon over the availability of defender Joel Matip, who opted to be left out of the Indomitable Lions' squad to focus on club football during the competition.

The centre-back was one of seven players who pulled out of Hugo Broos' outfit, who eventually won the competition in Gabon.

Liverpool, nonetheless, could not prevent striker Sadio Mane from joining Senegal and so hard were they hit by his absence as they won only one of eight games during the period.

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Per the new development, however, players would not be faced with the dilemma of choosing between club and country as June/July falls within the off-season of the major European leagues.

According to Caf, the new order takes effect from the 2019 Afcon.