CAF ignites row with world leagues after increasing player calls for Cameroon 2022
December 1 – The World Leagues Forum, representing professional leagues around the world, wrote to FIFA and the African football hierarchy to denounce what it claims to be a unilateral, no-consultation decision on the release of players for the next African Cup of Nations in Cameroon in January and February.
In the latest club-versus-country conflict, the body wrote to both Veron Mosengo-Omba, secretary general of the African Football Confederation, and FIFA deputy general secretary Mattias Grafstrom, asking for explanations as to why CAF suddenly increased the number of players per team, especially given the new fears raised by the Covid pandemic.
“We know that CAF has decided to increase the number of players that each national association can call from 23 to 28.” said the letter emailed by World Leagues Forum General Secretary Jerome Perlemuter.
“First, the relevance of this decision can be questioned from a sporting and health point of view with more players traveling to Africa in the context of the current pandemic.
“Secondly, and also of great importance, the decision of CAF affects the integrity of the national leagues and their clubs since most of the players will leave for Africa in the middle of their sporting season.
“In terms of process, this decision was taken unilaterally without any discussion or agreement between the leagues and their clubs. We also understand that no discussion took place with player representatives.
“There is now an accumulation of decisions unfavorable to leagues, clubs and players, taken without any discussion or against their position on CAN 2022.”
The World Leagues Forum says that no matter how legitimate the regulations are, “decisions about national team competitions cannot be taken in isolation using FIFA regulations to their own advantage without considering this impact.”
“In addition, we would like to share our concerns about competition from an organizational and health protocol point of view. “
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