Amaju Pinnick

Cape Verde match: NFF seeks EPL COVID-19 waiver for England-based players

PresidentNigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, says the federation has made an appeal to the UK government to allow Super Eagles players feature in the 2022 World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde on Tuesday.

In an interview with CNN, Pinnick said it would be painful if the UK-based players were stopped from playing against Cape Verde by the UK government’s COVID-19 restrictions.

The English Premier announced last month that its clubs would not release players for international matches played in red-list countries.

Cape Verde falls within the countries listed in the UK ‘red list’

According to the rules, individuals travelling in from these countries are meant to undergo a 10-day quarantine period, which means EPL players who visit the red list countries will miss some games due to a 10-day isolation period.

“We have made a representation to the English FA through CAF and FIFA. I don’t think that it is good. The quality of the World Cup remains the same. It will be painful and shameful if we don’t get this done. We have made a passionate plea to see positive football.

“The same waiver given to European countries should be applied to Africa as well,” Pinnick said.

“Every player who has been vaccinated should be allowed to visit these red-listed countries because it will have an adverse effect on the quality of play from these African teams. Nigeria will be missing seven players for the game against Cape Verde. The UK government should relax this rule a bit.

“We believe we have some level of recognition and appreciation by the EPL and the English government because African players have contributed in no small way to the growth, development and finances of these institutions.

“We are talking about the legalities of holding back players from playing for their countries. They need to relax their boundaries.” – Punch.

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