CAN 2022: CAF-FIFA agreement delays arrival of African internationals

International players affected by the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon (January 9 – February 6) will be able to play with their clubs until January 3, the International Football Federation announced on Sunday.

While the official date of release of players for the selections participating in the CAN was initially December 27, the African Football Confederation (CAF) now allows clubs to keep their players until January 3 inclusive, says Fifa in a letter addressed to the European Association of Clubs (ECA), leagues and European federations.

The English clubs, who play several days of the championship including Boxing Day by January 3, and their French counterparts who will play the round of 16 of the Coupe de France (January 2 and 3) are particularly affected by this decision.

“This decision is taken in a spirit of goodwill and solidarity with the clubs concerned given the fact that they have been affected by the upsurge in Covid cases,” FIFA writes in its letter.

Last week, the ECA threatened not to release international players for CAN, worrying about the health protocol of the event against the backdrop of a pandemic.

In addition to the health protocol of the tournament, the ECA especially pointed out the risk of an absence of internationals longer than the period of availability provided for, due to “quarantines and travel restrictions” linked in particular to the emergence of the Omicron variant. of the coronavirus.

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