December, 27 2021.
The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has issued a statement on the 'release of players and number of players for AFCON 2021’.
The statement was signed by the Deputy Secretary General of Football, Mattias Grafström.
The letter was addressed to the General Secretary, World League Forum, Jerome Perlemuter and the Managing Director of European Leagues had CAF copied, dated 25 December 2021.
FIFA deemed it fit to make such release, sequel to the letters received from the two football organizations mentioned above and shared to Conference of African Football (CAF).
In the release, FIFA highlighted and pointed out some specific considerations as it reflects identical actions taken by other competition organisers around the world.
The considerations are postponement of the tournament by one year, increase in the number of teams to 24, increase in the duration of the tournament, increase in the number of players per squad to 28 and the regulatory treatment of the of the matter under the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players as unambiguous.
"However, following extensive discussions between FIFA and CAF, CAF has decided to make a commitment of solidarity with respect to the release of players by their respective clubs under certain circumstances.
“Specifically bearing in mind that under legal framework that governs the release of players to International teams, the official enforceable release date for the competition is 27 December 2021, CAF has decided that for those players who have official club matches between the 27 December 2021 and 3 January 2022, the participating member associations in question are to be directed that these players may remain with their clubs to participating in these matches and be released after the last match during this period", the statement reads in part.
Conclusively, "it has been highlighted to FIFA that this decision is taken in the spirit of goodwill and solidarity with the affected clubs in recognition of the fact that all members of the football community have been adversely affected by the onset of the COVID pandemic," the release stated in part.
The AFCON 2021 will commence on 9th January to end on 6th February, 2022.