Established players of Nigeria’s Men Football Team may likely miss out on the scheduled 2022 FIFA world cup qualification matches billed to hold in September this year due to a new rule announced by the English Football Association.
This new development is due to the decision by the FA to prevent players from going through quarantine after traveling back to their parent clubs from red-list countries, with Nigeria as one of them.
By implication, Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho, William Ekong, Ogenekaro Etebo, Emmanuel Dennis, Alex Iwobi, Frank Onyeka, among others may likely not don the green and white shirt next month.
According to the Football Association, “extensive discussions have taken place with both the FA and the government to find a solution, but due to ongoing public health concerns relating to incoming travelers from red-list countries, no exemption has been granted.
“Quarantine requirements mean that players’ welfare and fitness would significantly impact their performance. We understand the challenges that exist in the international match calendar and remain open to workable solutions.
Mandatory release periods of players by their parent clubs from nine days to 11 days have also attracted strong calls on FIFA to shelve the plans. European Clubs Association described it as unfair and an abuse of regulatory functions.
This, they believed, was in favor of the world’s football governing body and inimical to the physical wellbeing of football players as well as the economic survival of clubs.
The body emphasized that ECA will not accept that a governing body like FIFA abuses regulatory function in order to place its commercial interests and those of its member associations above the physical wellbeing of players and legitimate sporting interests of clubs.
“ECA has firmly expressed its objection to FIFA’s decision and has urged FIFA to review its position,” it said.