Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers face disruption to their seasons in the New Year thanks to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and the Asian Cup.
Both tournaments start in mid-January 2024 and run for around a month.
It may seem like a long way off but with the November international break offering us the last bit of respite before a frenetic festive period, we thought we’d take an initial look at which players, teams and Gameweeks will be affected.
WHEN ARE THE START AND FINISH DATES FOR AFCON + THE ASIAN CUP?
AFCON will take place between Saturday 13 January and Sunday 11 February 2024.
The Asian Cup starts on Friday 12 January and runs to Saturday 10 February 2024.
So, in FPL terms, Gameweeks 21 to 24 will be affected.
AFCON, ASIAN CUP + FPL CALENDAR
This season sees the return of the winter break, so any player whose country is eliminated at the group stage of AFCON or the Asian Cup may only miss one Premier League encounter (in Gameweek 21).
Anyone progressing to the final, of course, would be in line to miss four top-flight fixtures.
Gameweek 20 starts in the final days of December, so is expected to be mostly unaffected by pre-tournament call-ups.
Previously, FIFA have said that “players must be released and start the travel to their representative team no later than Monday morning the week preceding the week when the relevant final competition starts“.
On paper, that could have ramifications for the final two matches of Gameweek 20:
However, FIFA relaxed these rules in AFCON 2021 and allowed players to stay at their clubs until January 3, a mere six days before the competition began.
One other possible fly in the ointment is if Gameweek 20 is made a ‘double’ for Manchester City and Brentford – meaning there is a very real chance that Bryan Mbeumo (£6.8m) and Yoane Wissa (£5.9m) could miss the second of those fixtures, depending on the new date.
AFCON + THE ASIAN CUP: AFFECTED PLAYERS AND TEAMS IN FPL