Blow for Warriors

French Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs will not release players called up for their national sides if the teams are playing outside the European Union (EU) due to the strict Covid-19 quarantine rules, the French professional league (LFP) said on Wednesday.

The two-week international break begins after the weekend’s domestic games when European national teams are set to kick off their World Cup qualifying campaigns, with most teams playing three matches.

Fifa said last month that clubs are not expected to release players if there is a “mandatory period of quarantine or self-isolation of at least five days upon arrival” in the country where the club is located or the country where the match is taking place.

“In this context, the clubs will not make available for selection the foreign players summoned for matches outside the EU/EEA zone during the next international period in March,” the LFP said in a statement.

Clubs are also not expected to release players if there are travel restrictions between the two countries or if specific exemptions have not been granted to players by the local authorities.

The decision means that the Warriors duo of Tino Kadewere and Marshal Munets’s hopes of playing in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia have been quashed.

The Warriors technical team have been trying to persuade Kadewere’s Lyon and Munetsi’s Reims to try to get the players released but Wednesday’s decision puts any such efforts to rest.

Zimbabwe will be without the UK based players as well with Marvelous Nakamba, Tendayi Darikwa, Jordan Zemura and Brandon Galloway among others having been barred from traveling for the Afcon qualifiers.

Zimbabwe will draw most of its player for the two matches from leagues on the African continent.

Skipper, Knowledge Musona, based in Belgium will lead a hand full of players coming in from Europe and America. — Reuters/Sports Writer.