2022 AFCON: European clubs threaten not to release players

2022 AFCON: European clubs threaten not to release players
General view of the Africa Cup of Nations Trophy

by Staff Reporter

Thursday Dec 16, 2021. 14:00

The European Association of Clubs (ECA) has threatened not to release international players for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations starting next month.

Africa’s biggest football tournament is set to begin on January 9 and run until February 6 and it will be hosted by Cameroon.

The ECA, which represents the interests of professional association football clubs in Europe, has expressed concern about the health protocol of the event regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

They claim that to their knowledge, the African Football Confederation (CAF) has not yet made public an adequate medical and operational protocol for the tournament.

The ECA released the following statement:

“Against this background, please note that, at its meeting of December 2021, the ECA Executive Board unanimously re-confirmed its position that the three principles referred to above must be strictly respected and, should this not be the case, that players not be released for national team duty,” read a part of ECA’s letter according to The Guardian.

“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.

“For certain clubs expected to release players, including English and French club, 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 27th of December) are unmanageable.”

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