The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has called on the British Government to “urgently” release African players to represent their respective countries during the upcoming international window games. The football body made the call in a press release dated 25th August 2021.
“CAF, acting on behalf of all African Member Associations, African players and fans, has 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,” the statement said.
The British government earlier issued certain rules which marked some countries including those from Africa in the red zone of the pandemic; this was supported by top-flight leagues like La Liga, the English Premier League, and co. In effect, players from such countries must either refrain or risk a 10-day quarantine, which would automatically make them miss several games.
The set rule could affect a significant number of African players including the likes of Mohamed Salah which means a lot for their country’s performance in next week’s international games hence a need for something to be done to reverse it.
In the recent statement, CAF argued 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,” CAF added.
The confederation further demanded that the British government should extend the “same treatment previously applied to Europe” to “Africa under the principles of solidarity and equal treatment.” The body assured that matches will be played under strict adherence to world-standard protocols.
The demand by the confederation seems to fall on good ground as the BBC reported that, FIFA’s President Gianni Infantino has called on the British government to show solidarity. “I have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and appealed for the necessary support, in particular, so players are not deprived of the opportunity of representing their countries in qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup, which is one of the ultimate honors for a professional footballer” Infantino was quoted by reports.
“I have suggested that an approach similar to that adopted by the UK government for the final stages of the Euro 2020 be implemented for the upcoming international matches.” He reportedly added.