Clubs threaten to block players for Africa Cup of Nations

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The European Club Association (ECA) has threatened to stop players from representing their nations at next month's Africa Cup of Nations.

The tournament is scheduled to get underway on 9 January 2022 in Cameroon, with a number of Premier League and Ligue 1 players likely to be selected for their countries.

However, the ECA has sent a letter to FIFA Deputy General Mattias Grafstrom expressing their concern about the tournament and certain protocols not being met.

"Against this background, please note that, at its meeting of December 2021, the ECA Executive Board unanimously re-confirmed its position that the three principles referred to above must be strictly respected and, should this not be the case, that players not be released for national team duty," part of ECA's letter read, per Goal.

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"At present, these three principles are at risk of not being respected in connection with the upcoming January releases.

"With regards to applicable protocols, as far as we are aware, CAF has not yet made available a suitable medical and operational protocol for the AFCON tournament, in the absence of which clubs will not be able to release players for the tournament.

"For certain clubs expected to release players, including English and French club, domestic competition matches are due to take place up until early January and hence, the overlap of the 2022 AFCON release dates (with call-ups from 27th of December) are unmanageable."

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