The Super Eagles, Black Stars and Bafana Bafana will be without their English based stars for next month’s qualifying matches enroute Qatar 2022
Arsenal’s Thomas Partey, Brighton and Hove Albion’s Percy Tau and Leicester City’s quartet of Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Patson Daka plus Daniel Amartey will play no part in September’s 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifications for Africa.
This is due to the Premier League’s decision on Tuesday not to release players for international engagements in ‘red list’ countries – where they would have to quarantine on their return to the United Kingdom because of Covid restrictions.
“Premier League clubs have today reluctantly but unanimously decided not to release players for international matches played in red-list countries next month,” a statement on the EPL website read.
“The clubs’ decision, which is strongly supported by the Premier League, will apply to nearly 60 players from 19 Premier League clubs who are due to travel to 26 red-list countries in the September international window.
“This follows Fifa’s current position not to extend its temporary release exception for players required to quarantine on their return from international duty.
“Extensive discussions have taken place with both The FA and the Government to find a solution, but due to ongoing public health concerns relating to incoming travellers from red-list countries, no exemption has been granted.”
“If required to quarantine on return from red list countries, not only would players’ welfare and fitness be significantly impacted, but they would also be unavailable to prepare for and play in two Premier League match rounds, a Uefa club competition matchday and the third round of the EFL Cup,” it continued.
“This period takes into consideration 10 days of hotel quarantine on return to England but does not include any additional time that would be required for players to regain match fitness.”
The Super Eagles – who take on Liberia and Cape Verde – are among the worst hit by this verdict, as coach Gernot Rohr will be without the services of at least eight key players.
They include Alex Iwobi (Everton), Ndidi (Leicester City), Iheanacho (Leicester City), Frank Onyeka (Brentford), William Troost-Ekong (Watford), Peter Etebo (Watford), Emmanuel Dennis (Watford), and Semi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion).
Ghana have less to worry about as coach Charles Akonnor will miss just three players namely: Partey (Arsenal), Amartey (Leicester City) and Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) for their fixtures versus Ethiopia and South Africa.
Tau will not be available for Hugo Broos’ Bafana Bafana, while Cote d’Ivoire have Eric Bailly (Manchester United), Willy Boly (Wolves), Amad Diallo (Manchester United), Nicolas Pepe (Arsenal) and Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) all ruled out.