Newcastle have received a boost with the news that the Africa Cup of Nations will become a summer tournament as of 2019.
The competition used to take place between January and February meaning it deprived Newcastle of some of their key players for up to six weeks.
However, a meeting of The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed that the tournament will now be switched to the summer, meaning Premier League teams will not be affected. It will also be expanded to include 24 teams.
The next tournament had been set to run between January 12 and February 3 in 2019, taking place in Cameroon.
“From a sporting perspective, it will allow more opportunity for footballers across the continent,” Nigerian Football Federation president Amaju Pinnock, who is also a CAF executive committee member, said when talking about the decision.
“It will increase revenue for CAF and we can triple our income. It will also force more infrastructure development.”
It means Newcastle will not be losing Ghana international winger Christian Atsu in what is a crucial part of the season.
Mo Diame is the only other member of the first-team squad that the news might affect but, at the moment, he has retired from playing for Senegal.
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