AFCONQ hit hard by Ligue 1 decision

Ligue 1

Clubs from France's Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 have unanimously voted to prevent foreign players from travelling on international duty outside of the European Union.

Club presidents from France's top two divisions met with the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) on Wednesday to discuss the upcoming international break and the challenges international travel currently poses to clubs and players due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The LFP has since announced that the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs have unanimously voted against releasing players for international duty to countries who will be playing their upcoming fixtures outside of the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA).

Wednesday's announcement, which is in line with FIFA's exemptions, will affect players from South America, including a host of Brazilian and Argentine stars, North America, Asia and Australasia, although Africa will be the hardest-hit continent by the decision.

Nearly 150 African players currently ply their trade in the country's top-flight alone, with Senegal, Algeria, Ivory Coast and Mali among four of the five most represented nations in the league outside of French nationals.

Scroll through the gallery to see South African players with league titles in Europe

Full statement from the LFP:

"At the initiative of the presidents of the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, a consultation was carried out on Wednesday, March 17 with all club presidents concerning players outside the France A team likely to participate in a match outside of France or the EU / EEA zone during the next international period in March.

In the absence of an exemption for foreign international players made available to their national team and in view of the response times imposed by international regulations, the clubs of Ligue 1 Uber Eats and Ligue 2 BKT have decided unanimously this Wednesday, March 17 to apply the FIFA circular of February 5, 2021, taking into account the many travel restrictions in the world.

In this context, the clubs will not make available for selection the foreign players summoned for matches outside the EU / EEA zone during the next international period in March."

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