One of the biggest debates on social media right now is whether or not the remaining two rounds of AFCON qualifiers, slated for March 25 and 29 respectively, should go ahead.
The final list of teams to participate at the next AFCON finals in Cameroon, will be decided by them..
However, preparations for those games have been marred by a very huge setback- that of European clubs’ unwillingness to release players- owing to tight lockdown laws introduced by their respective governments.
In the UK for instance, the Borris Johnson-led administration ordered that returnees coming from a list of flagged countries will go into a mandatory ten-day quarantine.
That inconvenient setback has resulted in clubs in the UK, with power temporarily given by FIFA to stop players from traveling for international matches scheduled for this month, a stance which their counterparts across Europe have emulated.
In the case of Zimbabwe, Aston Villa’s Marvelous Nakamba, Wigan’s Tendayi Darikwa, Wycombe’s Admiral Muskwe, Lyon’s Tino Kadewere and inevitably Marshall Munetsi, will miss the decisive encounters.
The aforementioned players form the core of the Warriors squad and their absence will be felt without any doubt. Its also unjust that we have to take part in such crucial encounters without our regular players, the same goes for all the other African countries.
FIFA, after consultations with member associations in South America, postponed World Cup qualifiers in that continent owing to those Covid-19 complications.
“FIFA can confirm that following discussions with our South American Member Associations in conjunction with CONMEBOL and taking into consideration the existing volatility around travel and quarantine restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has decided to postpone the South American qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ that were due to be played in March 2021,” the world football governing body said in a statement.
In the wake of that development, CAF should do the right thing and follow suit.