African players to stay with their clubs until Jan 3 before AFCON
Football players competing in the Africa Cup of Nations finals next month will be able to play for their clubs until January 3, according to the Confederation of African Football [CAF] on Sunday.
Many were scheduled to miss games due to a provision that requires teams to dismiss players 14 days before a continental tournament or the World Cup.
On the other hand, CAF has agreed to enable players to play for their clubs between December 27 and January 3 before joining their national rosters for the
Africa Cup of Nations
finals, which begin on January 9 in Cameroon.
This would come as a comfort to thePremier League
clubs who were set to lose their African players by the official release deadline of December 27, even though several had made special agreements for players to remain with them for as long as feasible before the competition began.
A FIFA letter delivered to the
World Leagues Forum
association on Sunday reads:
"This decision is taken in the spirit of goodwill and solidarity with the affected clubs in recognition of the fact that they, like all members of the football community, have been adversely affected by the onset of the Covid pandemic."
Both organizations have been critical of the Cup of Nations being held in the middle of the European club season when the bulk of the players participate in the cup, are playing their club football.
However, FIFA stated that CAF has decided to provide assistance to clubs.
"It is also assumed that a spirit of mutual cooperation remains between CAF and all relevant stakeholders in this regard, including related to the release of players and the provision of sporting exemptions to travel and quarantine restrictions if required in the future," added the letter from FIFA deputy general secretary Mattias Grafstrom.
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