President of Ligue 1 club Marseille believes that the league should have a mid-season break to accommodate the AFCON like it did the World Cup
Marseille president Pablo Longoria has asked French football authorities to consider giving Ligue 1 a mid-season break due to the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations set to take place in the Ivory Coast in January next year.
Marseille heavily invested in African stars
With the biggest international competition on the continent set to take centre stage in the winter, a number of concerns have been raised about player availability during this period, with many of Ligue 1's stars set to represent their countries in Ivory Coast.
Marseille are heavily affected by the potential absences, with as many as seven first-team players expected to head to AFCON in January, including summer signings Gabonese Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Central African Republic’s Geoffrey Kondogbia, and the Senegalese duo of Ismaila Sarr and Ilman Ndiaye.
This has caused the club’s president to make a plea to the authorities to allow a mid-season break, as they did with the World Cup, to allow players to represent their countries at another major international competition.
Marseille president hoping for AFCON break
Speaking at a press conference, the Marseille chief explained the need for a break, saying, “We must manage with AFCON. When making signings, we have to take it into account but this must not stop us. We cannot base our recruitment strategy on one month.
“With Ligue 1, we need to think about stopping the league competition during AFCON.”
Due to France’s heritage and huge involvement with several African countries, Ligue 1 has a huge African contingent, and Longoria’s pleas need to be taken into serious consideration.
Players could miss up to five Ligue 1 matches if they decide to take part in the 2024 AFCON without the league taking a break, which could cause major problems in the competition for teams like Marseille, who are heavily reliant on African players.
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