AFCON: European Clubs Refuse to Release African Players for Next Month's Showpiece

AFCON: European Clubs Refuse to Release African Players for Next Month's Showpiece

  • The 2021 TotalEnergies African Cup of Nations is scheduled to commence January 9 2022 after initial postponements and end in February 6, 2021
  • The tournament has in recent weeks faced a lot of rumors of yet another postponement but that has been rubbished by CAF
  • The European Clubs Association (ECA) has in a latest press release said member clubs, including EPL, French league, won't release African players for the tournament

European clubs have said they will not release their African players to their national teams for the 2021 African Cup of Nations tournament in January 2022.

The association body of European clubs, ECA, said the decision was reached in reaction to " three fundamental concerns for clubs when it comes to the release of players to national teams".

"As you know, the pandemic and its associated implications raise three fundamental concerns for clubs when it comes to the release of players to national teams:..

Read also

AFCON will not be cancelled - CAF insists, labels rumor-mongering "lies"

AFCON: European Clubs Refuse to Release African Players for Next Month's Showpiece
AFCON trophy and AFCON Stars. Source: Instagram/@riyadmahrez26.7/@thomaspartey5/@mosalah
Source: Instagram

"first and foremost, the clubs' duty to ensure each and every player's wellbeing is properly protected second; that clubs are not forced to be without players for club competition matches;..
" third, that all players resume their activities with their clubs following national duty in a timely fashion, as per the applicable rules."

The ECA further noted that since their decision was reached because the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and it's member national football associations have not addressed the three factors to their satisfaction.

"At present, these three principles are at risk of not being respected in connection with the upcoming January releases.

"With regards to applicable protocols, as far as we are aware CAF has not yet made available a suitable medical and operational protocol for the AFCON tournament in the absence of which clubs will not be able to release players for the tournament.

Read also

AFCON Organisers Make Crucial Decision About 2022 Edition Amid Cancellation Claims

"For certain clubs expected to release players, including English and French clubs domestic competition matches are due to take place up until early January and hence the overlap of the 2022 AFCON release dates (with call ups from 27 December) are unmanageable", the statement concluded.

The association, in the press release dated December 10 sent to FIFA, noted that the decision by the clubs were taken together in their last meeting on December 2, and some on the African continent have wondered why it took the ECA this long to release the statement.

With a huge number of African players plying their trade in the English Premier League and the French League, this decision by the ECA will land a huge blow to the AFCON tournament, which has been postponed many a times already.

CAF rubbishes AFCON postponement

YEN.com.gh reported earlier that, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has rubbished rumors of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) being postponed from next month to a much later time.

The rumors also had it that, host nation of the 24-team tournament, Cameroon might be losing their hosting privileges to a foreign country on another continent like Qatar.

Source: Sports Brief News