African Cup of Nations, an eternal stone in the shoes of European clubs

Until a few days before the kick-off, the spread of the covid-19 pandemic and the Omicron edition threatened the holding of the African Cup of Nations (CAN) in Cameroon (from 9 January to 6 February). In this uncertain context, the big European clubs have made 33 . threatened not to release its players called forI Competition version.

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In a letter to the International Football Federation (FIFA) in mid-December, the European Club Association (ECA) expressed concerns about the lack of health protocols: “To our knowledge, the Confederation of African Football has not yet made public an appropriate medical and operational protocol for the CAN tournament, in the absence of which clubs would not be able to release their players to the tournament”. Wrote the body under the chairmanship of PSG president Nasser al-Khelafi.

loose rules

Olympique Lyonnais (OL), one of the sixteen founding members of the ECA, saw three of its players fly to Africa: “When we received the summons for selection at the end of December, we had no indication of compliance with health protocols, says OL Football’s general manager Vincent Ponsot. ECA pushes again with Confederation of African Football [regroupant les fédérations nationales de football du continent], which allowed us to know under what conditions our players would be accommodated. , The leaders of European clubs pointed to all the risks of the absence of international players for longer than the envisaged availability period, as , Quarantine and movement restrictions , Particularly connected with the emergence of the Omicron version.

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Since 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic, FIFA Relaxation in the rules for the release of international players: Clubs can retain their players if , Quarantine mandatory for at least five days before arrival , in place , where the national team match is to be played , of the athlete, or upon his return to the place of the latter club.

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While still coach of Nigeria at the beginning of December – he has since been sacked – Gernot Rohr recalls preparing for his selection trip to Cape Verde on September 7, 2021: “Seven of our UK players were unable to make it to Cape Verde, which was on the UK Government’s COVID-19 Red List. He should have done a ten-day quarantine while returning to his club, which was too restrictive. ,

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