Kamanga Keeping Fingers Crossed on Mwepu, Daka FIFA Intervention

FAZ president Andrew Kamanga is confident that FIFA and CAF will intervene in the English Premier League’s decision to hold on to African players from countries on England’s “red list.”

The decision could affect 60 players from 19 clubs going to countries on England’s red list that also includes South American countries such as Brazil, and Kamanga says the 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers would not be played in the best of time if the decision is allowed to stand.

“If you don’t have the players from the English Premier League, it will render the World Cup competition not fair because most of the best players (in Africa) are currently playing in England,” Kamanga said.

Kamanga added that the Technical Bench is aware of the challenges and measures have been put in place to ensure that Zambia is ready for the back-to-back qualifiers against Mauritania on 3 September and Tunisia four days later.

“At worst, we will only be replacing two players; Patson (Daka) and Enock (Mwepu). It wouldn’t be so much of a challenge but we needed to have the full team but if circumstances dictate that we are unable to have that, the technical bench have put in place measure to address the shortcomings,” Kamanga said.

“Mauritania is not on the red list so we expect all the professionals to be in Morocco (for camping) and play in Mauritania, the worst-case scenario is for them to miss out on the home game (against Tunisia).”

On Wednesday, CAF, acting on behalf of all African Member Associations, African players and fans, urged the British Government to urgently provide the required exemptions to enable African players to compete for their countries in the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers.

CAF noted that similar exemptions were granted by the British Government to enable the attendance of delegations and officials, amongst others, at the finals of the European Championship held less than two months ago.

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