The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has urged the British Government to grant an exemption to African players for the international window following apprehension raised over rising coronavirus cases across the globe.
It explained that the request had become imperative to allow players of African descent plying their trade across all British leagues to get approval to represent their countries during the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers during the international break.
The body noted that the required exemptions were granted to players who participate during the last international competition across the globe and such should also be extended to the African players in the spirit of fairness.
According to the football body, CAF has noted the current circumstances in place in Britain regarding the lack of sporting exemptions for players returning from several African countries after the international window next week.
“CAF, acting on behalf of all African Member-Associations, African players, and fans, has urged the British Government to urgently provide the required exemptions. This is to enable African players to compete for their countries in the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers,” the continental football governing body said in a statement.
CAF added that it noted 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,” the football body added.
Furthermore, CAF said that it would like to reiterate that the upcoming matches would be delivered under the strict protocols developed by FIFA and applied across the world. It added that this would be as it was the case in previous windows and continental tournaments successfully delivered without any incidents.
“These protocols have now proven beyond a doubt that they mitigate the risks involved, reflecting the success of commensurate protocols applied domestically in England and other parts of the world.”
CAF further said it has appealed, as a matter of urgency, to the Football Association (FA) and the British Government that “the same treatment previously applied to Europe now be extended to Africa. This will be under the principles of solidarity and equal treatment.”