Confederation of African Football (CAF,) acting on behalf of all African member associations, African players and fans, have urged the British Government to urgently provide the required exemptions to enable African players to compete for their countries in the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers.
This comes after the Premier League announced that clubs would not release players due to take part in matches in nations given a covid-19 red list designation.
The move will affect almost 60 players from 19 top flight teams who are due to travel to 26 red list countries.
Clubs in La Liga have also decided not to release players for qualifiers in countries where they would have to quarantine upon their return.
“CAF has noted the current circumstances in place in Britain regarding the lack of sporting exemptions for players returning from several African countries after the international window next week,” said the African football mother body in a statement on Wednesday.
“CAF notes that similar exemptions were granted by the British Government to enable the attendance of delegations and officials, amongst others, at the finals of the European Championship held less than two months ago. It is further noted that the circumstances in the African countries on the red list in many cases are in fact less severe than other countries not currently on this list or for which exemptions were previously provided.
“Furthermore, CAF would like to reiterate that the upcoming matches will be delivered under the strict protocols developed by FIFA and applied across the world, as was the case in previous windows and continental tournaments successfully delivered without any incidents,” said CAF.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has also sent a message to the British government edging them to allow African players to go represent their countries.
RELATED STORY: Caf Women’s Cosafa League qualifier in numbers