Africa Cup of Nations allows players to stay with clubs still Jan 3
Major plays like Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, and Naby Keita can play for their clubs in January before leaving for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Although FIFA policies state that the football clubs have to release the players before December 27 in time for the Africa Cup of Nations, footballers may now play for their clubs until January 3, 2022, before leaving for the cup, according to the Confederation of African Football.
"This decision is taken in the spirit of goodwill and solidarity," said FIFA.
FIFA's letter was sent to the World Leagues Forum, stating that the Africa Cup of Nations had allowed and agreed to the dates, allowing the players to turn out in official games for their clubs on January 3rd. The tournament starts on January 9, 2022, and will be ongoing till February 6.
The importance of this
Egypt's forward Mohamad Salah, Senegal's winger Sadio Mane, and Guinea's midfielder Naby Keita will be able to play for Liverpool at Chelsea on January 2, in addition to Algerian players Riyad Mahrez and Said Benrahma who will play for Manchester City and West Ham United respectively.
Leeds United, Newcastle United, Norwich City and Tottenham will be the only Premier League teams that won't be losing any player in time for the tournament.
In the letter sent to the World Leagues Forum, FIFA deputy general secretary Mattias Grafstrom contended that the agreement was concluded "with the affected clubs in recognition of the fact that they, like all members of the football community, have been adversely affected by the onset of the Covid pandemic," adding that "It is also assumed that a spirit of mutual cooperation remains between Caf and all relevant stakeholders in this regard, including related to the release of players and the provision of sporting exemptions to travel and quarantine restrictions if required in the future."