Looking ahead to the beginning of the year, where the African Cup of Nations and the World Cup qualifiers will be played, there is concern in the clubs for their players
The Association of European Clubs He expressed on Thursday that he was “deeply concerned” about the health risks that his players would take if they had to travel in January for football matches. African Cup of Nations and the World Cup qualifiers.
The board of directors of the ECA (the organization’s acronym in English) met in Paris and mentioned “the worsening of the health situation” due to the spread of the omicron variant. The group asked to start consultations with FIFA, which is in charge of the international calendar and which makes it mandatory for players to yield.
Before the pandemic, the national teams had not contemplated playing in January 2022. But four of the six continental confederations are trying to catch up due to the postponement of tournaments and World Cup qualifying matches.
The African Cup, with 24 teams, will be played between January 9 and February 6 in Cameroon after a one-year postponement.
Several dozen more players serving in Europe will have to travel to North America, South America and Asia for World Cup qualifying matches between January 24 and February 2, a window that FIFA opened to update the calendar.
The new dates are approaching when a new variant of COVID-19 has emerged and clubs fear that players are spreading the virus.
Divergences over the protocols caused tensions this year. Some European clubs refused to release South American players. The classic Brazil-Argentina in Sao Paulo ended in scandal when local health officials entered the field to withdraw Argentine players who are active in clubs in England for alleged breach of protocols