FIFA has stepped in on the chaos regarding the restriction of European-based African players from traveling to their respective countries for next week’s AFCON qualifiers.

The world football governing body’s move was necessitated by an outcry over the decision made by the French Ligue 1 and 2 clubs to ban African players from representing their countries owing to a law placed across Europe which subjects returnees from flagged zones to a mandatory 6-10 days quarantine.

As a result, most, if not all all clubs chose not to release players for the remaining two AFCON qualifiers, with French Ligue 1 and 2 sides choosing to block all African players, sparking fury in the process, a situation which FIFA has moved to solve.

“We’re living in a difficult situation especially in Europe with regards to COVID-19. Health remains a priority. We’re currently in contact with Governments to find a solution,” said president Gianni Infantino at a virtual press conference yesterday.
“We expect a response today or tomorrow but as was the case in October and November, the protocols are in place and we got less than 0.5% of positive cases. We are to do whatever we can to protect national team football and respect Governments,” he added.