The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has requested the UK government to grant an exemption to African players for the international window.
“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,” said a CAF statement on Wednesday. “CAF, acting on behalf of all African Member-Associations, African players and fans, has urged the British Government to urgently provide the required exemptions.”
The continental football body said this would enable African players to compete for their countries in the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers.
CAF 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 Euro 2020 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.”
In addition, CAF reiterated that the upcoming matches would be organised under the strict protocols developed by FIFA and applied across the world.
“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,” it noted.
CAF further said it had appealed, as a matter of urgency, to the Football Association (FA) and the UK 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,” CAF added.