AFCON 2022: Weak African football governing body CAF Succumbs to intimidation bows to European clubs
By Abdulgafar Oladimeji
Africa’s football governing body , Confederation of African Football , CAF has felled to propaganda from European clubs, who subtly resisted the official early release of African players to proceed to feature at the January 2022 edition of African cup of nations slated to kick off in Cameroon.
In a missive dated 25th December 2021 addressed to General Secretary Cher Jerome signed by Mattias Graftsrom, FIFA Assistant Secretary, football stated that CAF has shelve the mandatory rules that orders the release of international players , 14 days before the kick off major tournaments.
The missive stated that CAF in the spirit of solidarity has conceded for African players to arrive on 3rd January as against 27th January as inscribed in the rules.
Noting that the players may remain with their clubs until their last match during this period, a decision that has amazed African football stakeholders, who described the decision by CAF as weak and dismissive submission that gives a contrary impression of the strength of African football being the second largest football confederation behind South America.
It will be recalled the European Clubs Association EC had in letter written to FIFA had threatened that it will not release its player to proceed to Africa to represent their countries.
ECA also set conditions for African countries that required the services of their players to comply with, which includes prove of total compliance with Covid-19 protocols, that the players will not serve their countries beyond the period agreed upon, ECA also submit that the players will not be release, if it would necessitate they missing official matches.
Further it would be recalled English Premier League side, Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp was alleged to have described Africa’s largest football fiesta as little tournament , he has though denied the defaming statement been attributed to him, but Jurgen Klopp features amongst the crop of managers that instigated the subtle threat on not to release African players, our checks rebealed.