African Cup of Nations postponement reports false

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed to ESPN that reports alleging the postponement of the African Cup of Nations in January are incorrect.

It emerged on Wednesday that the European Club Association (ECA) sent a letter to FIFA Deputy Secretary-General Matthias Grafstrom on December 10, with the aim of preventing players based in Europe from coming to camp for the biennial continental tournament.

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In the letter, seen by ESPN, the Egyptian Chefs Association outlined their concerns that CAF would not implement strict protocols to protect players from COVID-19 infection during the tournament, with the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations launch dates set as “unmanageable” (which start at 3 December). 27) And conflict with matches for English and French clubs to allow players to be released.

“As you know, the pandemic and its associated impacts have raised three primary concerns for clubs when it comes to laying off players for national teams,” the league said in a statement.

“First of all, the duty of the clubs to ensure that the welfare of each player is properly protected; second, that clubs are not forced to remain without players in club competition matches; third, that all players resume their activities with their clubs in accordance with the national duty in a timely manner, in accordance with the rules in place it out”.

This sparked speculation as to whether next year’s competition will continue, but CAF’s head of media relations, Luksulu September, was quick to refute it.

“Our position is very clear,” September told ESPN on Wednesday. The Africa Cup of Nations will be held in Cameroon in January 2022. The opening match will be held on January 9.

“[There have been] There are no discussions [about postponement]”There are no contingency plans,” he added.

The ECA letter was sent in light of the December 2 Executive Board meeting, and since then cases of coronavirus have risen globally on the back of the spread of the Omicron variant virus.

Their letter concluded that “the ECA Executive Board unanimously confirmed its position that the three principles referred to above must be strictly respected, and if this is not the case, players will not be released to perform the duties of the national team.”

Despite this, CAF told ESPN that discussions about cancellation or postponement are not being held regardless of the increased pressure on the organization.

“Simply put, CAF is well ahead of our preparations, without thinking about canceling,” Alex Seo, CAF Director of Communications, told ESPN.

“Sure. As far as I know, there wasn’t any [discussions regarding the ECA letter]. “

Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, said in a press conference on Wednesday regarding the reports: “We live from day to day and don’t really know what’s going on. So we think that at the moment everything is happening but we realize that everything can change. on the back.

“So we need to be flexible and adapt to what’s coming.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said the club did not know when the players would be released: “We don’t know exactly. There will be a moment when the coaches announce their plans and we will try to be in talks, but decisions will be made. They are made elsewhere and we have to wait for that.”

Several Premier League players are scheduled to participate in the tournament, including the Liverpool trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita from Egypt, Senegal and Guinea, respectively.

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