Hosting nation Cameroon announced Wednesday that the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations tournament will now begin on Jan. 9 and run until Feb. 6.
The games were initially slated to take place in June and July, but the schedule was altered due to unfavorable weather in the country at that time of year, as relayed by BBC Sport. The Cameroon Football Federation made the request, which was granted by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
A statement from CAF deputy general secretary Tony Baffoe cited consultation with "Cameroonian meteorological authorities."
Teams across Europe could now find themselves without select African players for up to six weeks during the tournament. Clubs like Liverpool - who are led by Senegalese star Sadio Mane and Egyptian talisman Mohamed Salah - would be the most affected by the scheduling change.
The shift to January also means the 2021 tournament will not conflict with the expanded Club World Cup, which is set to take place during June 2021 in China.
AFCON 2019 in Egypt was held during the summer for the first time in tournament history. Cameroon was initially selected to host the 2019 tournament before the Central African country was stripped of the honor due to delays in preparations.
Algeria won the 2019 installment, capturing its second continental title courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Senegal.