The federation boss insists they keep their fingers crossed that the intervention by Caf and Fifa will enable African players to honor qualifiers
Andrew Kamanga, president of Zambia, said the decision of the Premier League to keep African players from countries on England’s “red list” would make the qualifying matches unfair.
Premier League clubs confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that they would not release players to fulfill their international duty if they showed up for countries on the UK red list.
The decision, which affected at least 60 players, was aimed at preventing them from having to quarantine on their return to England following the international break for qualifiers scheduled for September.
Kamanga, whose Chipolopolo will miss the services of Leicester City forward Patson Daka and Brighton & Hove Albion striker Enock Mwepu, explained that the qualifiers would not be fair as most of the best players for Africa nations currently playing in England.
‘If you do not have the players from the English Premier League, it will not justify the World Cup competition, because most of the best players [in Africa] currently playing in England, ”said Kamanga through the Zambia FA website.
‘In the worst case, we only replace two players; Patson [Daka] in Enock [Mwepu]. It would not be such a challenge, but we had to have the full team, but if circumstances dictate that we can not do so, the technical bank has put in place a measure to address the shortcomings.
‘Mauritania is not on the red list, so we expect all professionals to be in Morocco [for camping] and play in Mauritania, the worst case scenario is that they miss the home game [against Tunisia]. ”
Zambia will play rugby matches against Mauritania on September 3 and Tunisia four days later.
Caf l on Wednesday called on the British government to allow African players to travel for next month’s 2022 FIFA World Cup.
“Caf has taken note of the current situation in Britain regarding the lack of sporting exemptions for players returning to the international window next week from various African countries,” reads the statement.
“Caf, acting on behalf of all African member associations, African players and supporters, urged the British government to urgently grant the necessary exemptions to enable African players to compete for their countries in the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers. in Qatar 2022.
“Caf notes that similar exemptions have been granted by the British government to attend, among other things, delegations and officials at the finals of the European Championship held less than two months ago.”
Meanwhile, Fifa president Gianni Infantino has also called on the organizers of the Premier League and La Liga to reverse their decision to ban players from traveling to the qualifiers.
‘We have experienced global problems together in the past and must do so in the future. “The release of players in the upcoming international windows is very urgent and important,” said Infantino. statement.
“I am grateful for the support and cooperation of many stakeholders in the game during this challenging period. I call on the solidarity of every member association, every league and every club to do what is right and fair for the global game.”
Other top African teams will be affected if the Premier League’s order includes Nigeria and Egypt.