The French sports ministry has made a dramatic u-turn on the issue of African players in Ligue 1 and 2 being banned from travelling outside Europe during the international break, by announcing that they can now do so and won’t be quarantined upon return.

A decision made by the authorities in France to quarantine returnees from flagged countries for up to seven days had resulted in clubs agreeing to not release players for this week’s AFCON qualifiers.

The intervention on FIFA on the issue must have spearheaded the change, which was announced late last night.

“The Ministry of Sports confirms that international players returning from official competitions outside the EU with their national team, whether French or foreign, are exempt from the seven-day waiting period as long as they comply with a strict sanitary and medical protocol (bubble + daily PCR test on their return to their club),” the ministry said in a statement.

It’s not clear whether ZIFA are still in a position to fly the France-based duo of Tino Kadewere and Marshall Munetsi to Harare, considering the late announcement.