Coach MU Welcomes Africa Cup of Nations Fixtures
Manchester United (MU) coach Jose Mourinho welcomed the African Cup of Nations schedule change. According to him, it benefits the European clubs.
MU lost Eric Bailly for eight matches having to defend Ivory Coast at the African Nations Cup of Gabon, January 2017.
“The change is perfect for us,” said Mourinho, quoted by the Manchester Evening News as having difficulty losing an influential player like Bailly in the middle of the season.
“The role of African players is getting bigger in European clubs, the number of them is getting more and more.The African Cup of Nations at the beginning of the year is not profitable for the competition and players,” he continued.
The African Football Federation (CAF) changed the schedule of the African Cup of Nations in June-July starting 2019 edition through a meeting last week. The tournament was previously held from January to February.
Conditions that make the Red Devils rarely buy players from Africa. Until now, only recorded Quinton Fortune (South Africa) who performed in the top 100 matches.
If examined further, Manchester even has only five players from Africa throughout the history of the club. Besides Bailly and Fortune, the other three names are Mame Biram Diouf, Eric Djemba-Djemba, and Manucho.