CAF wants African EPL players released

African Football

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has urged the Premier League to change its decision to not allow African players to compete in their countries' upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers in red-listed nations.

On Tuesday, the Premier League announced that it would not allow any its footballers to play in any red-listed countries in the upcoming international break due to the United Kingdom's regulations regarding the coronavirus pandemic.  

African football's governing body CAF has now responded to that announcement, and challenged the British government to change its stance on the matter.

Read: 15 African stars to miss WC qualifiers

"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," a statement on CAF's official website read.

"CAF, acting on behalf of all African Member Associations, African players and fans, has urged the British Government to urgently provide the required exemptions to enable African players to compete for their countries in the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 202 qualifiers.

"CAF notes 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. 

"Furthermore, CAF would like to reiterate that the upcoming matches will be delivered under the strict protocols developed by FIFA and applied across the world, as 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. 

"In light of the above, CAF 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 under the principles of solidarity and equal treatment."

FIFA has also responded to the Premier League's announcement; their statement can be found here.

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