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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 January 2008, 14:56 GMT
Early start for 2010 Nations Cup
The Confederation of African Football (Caf)
Caf has altered the timing of the Nations Cup to help European clubs
The 2010 Africa Cup of Nations will start 10 days earlier than this year's edition in Ghana as a concession to European-based clubs.

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) said the tournament in Angola would be held from January 10-31.

This year's finals start on Sunday 20 January and run until 10 February when the final will be played in Accra.

The decision follows criticism from European clubs and their African players over the timing of the event.

However, it will provide no respite for clubs in European countries who do not have a winter break, such as England, where more than 40 players at the 2008 event play their club football.

Caf have made it clear they will not change the overall timing of the Nations Cup, which is held every two years.

Diverse climate conditions on the continent have been cited by Caf as the reason for not moving the finals to June or July.

Among those who have criticised the timing of the Nations Cup are high-profile players like Samuel Eto'o, Michael Essien and El Hadji Diouf, who leave their clubs at a key point in the European season.

Arsene Wenger, manager of English Premier League side Arsenal, has also been vocal in his complaints about losing players at an important phase of the season.

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