Following the earlier request to CAF by the AFCON teams that have qualified for the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Finals; to have the Qualifier matches of the Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2019, which were scheduled for March 2018; the CAF Executive Committee in their meeting held in Rabat, Morocco on the 16th November 2017, approved the said request. An official communication to this effect has now been received by the office of the NFAS.
New dates for the AFCON 2019 Qualifiers
In view of the approval to postpone the matches; CAF had to recognize the calendar of matches to set new dates for the qualifiers wherein now the month of March 2018, is now set for International Friendly matches with the qualifiers now scheduled to take place in September 2018; October 2018; November 2018 and March 2019. The finals for AFCON Cameroon 2019 Qualifiers, for the first time will now take place in the period of June/July 2019.
Adjustment of Preparation Plan of Sihlangu
In reaction to the newly adjusted dates, the NFAS which had already drawn a plan of action/ preparation towards such preparations, will next Thursday, 30 November 2017, present to the Executive Committee a proposed programme for implementation from this December 2017 through to March 2019, when the qualifiers conclude. As dedicated by CAF, the month of March 2018 will be utilized for international friendly matches.
International Friendly Matches outside the FIFA Week
As has been the case in previous years, where the NFAS will arrange matches and training camps outside, the FIFA week, the NFAS, in its newly adapted programme will look into arranging international friendly matches and training camps outside the normal period to step-up the preparations of the team. In this aspect, the relevant stakeholders will be contacted.
The new plan/programme to be implemented will be communicated after the 30th November 2017, scheduled Executive Committee meeting; wherein the subject will be discussed in detail, with the relevant decisions made, especially taking into consideration the various stakeholders; domestic competitions, and club international competitions.
Other Intervening Competitions
Otherwise, the new developments will not stop the implementation of the activities of the national team as there are other competitions that may intervene in the period, like the COSAFA Cup 2018, which is also anticipated to be played before the next AFCON Qualifier matches.