BIG BLOW: European Clubs Reluctant To Release Ghana Players For South Africa Clash

Black Stars coach Charles Kwabla Akonnor is likely to be without some of his key players based in Europe ahead of the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifier doubleheader against South Africa and Sao Tome later this month due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

With the COVID-19 crisis still affecting daily life across the planet, football’s governing body FIFA has introduced temporary measures to help to reduce the health risk to players and impact on clubs. Currently, clubs are mandated to determine whether to release their players during the international break amid the pandemic.

Due to quarantine and travel restrictions which will see players quarantined for up 10 days upon return from their trips, most European clubs are reluctant on releasing their players during the break.

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Ghanaian players based in Europe are likely to miss the trip to South Africa which has been flagged by most countries in the world due to the high number of recorded COVID-19 cases. Most countries have also banned flights to and from South Africa.

Per the COVID-19 restrictions in most European countries any player that makes the trip to South Africa would have to quarantine for 10 days or more in an airport hotel.

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Most clubs are not ready to miss players for up to four games in quarantine for 10 days and are considering not releasing players during the break.

As part of the UK COVID-19 protocols, all elite athletes may have to quarantine for 10 days after their return meaning Swansea City star Andre Ayew, Crystal Palace duo Jordan Ayew and Jeffrey Schlupp, Arsenal’s Thomas Partey, Brentford’s Tariq Fosu, Southampton’s Mohammed Salisu, Leicester City’s Daniel Amartey, Andy Yiadom who ply their trade in that region may not be released by their clubs.

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Other players such as Joseph Aidoo (Celta Vigo, Spain), Kassim Nuhu Adams (Hoffenheim, Germany) or face similar situations.

Swansea City manager Steve Cooper in an interview said the club will consider whether to release their star player and Ghana’s captain Andre Ayew.

Ghana coach Ck Akonnor will have to rely on his locally-based players for the game against South Africa and Sao Tome.

Clubs now have the sole autonomy whether to release players or not which is backed by FIFA’s current regulations on releasing players amid the pandemic.