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Senegalese FA Protests French Travel Ban For Players

Senegal’s players celebrate after scoring a goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Round of 16 football match between Uganda and Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in the Egyptian capital on July 5, 2019. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP) (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Senegal’s football federation has called on its French-based players to be released for upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, calling the league’s ban on internationals travelling outside the European Union “discriminatory”.

In a letter sent Thursday to the French Football Federation (FFF), the Senegalese FA said the West African state’s national squad could be deprived of 12 players currently at French clubs.

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Senegal are due to face the Republic of Congo in Brazzaville on March 26, and Eswatini in the Senegalese city of Thies on March 30.

“It seems appropriate to us to highlight the totally discriminatory nature of this measure,” the letter said, referring to the ban, highlighting FIFA rules as well as EU labour law.

FIFA loosened rules obliging clubs to release players for international matches after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under these relaxed rules, France’s Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs banned players from leaving to play outside the European Union and European Economic Area (EAA), which also includes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

France’s trip to Kazakhstan for a World Cup qualifier is not affected by the decision.

However, the Senegalese federation said that it is “by no means established” that French clubs had tried to obtain exemptions that could have spared players from being forced to quarantine on their return from international duty.

It said that French federation should take “all appropriate measures” to release players needed for Senegal’s national team.

Among the players named in Aliou Cisse’s 26-man squad were Rennes goalkeeper Alfred Gomis, Monaco’s Fode Ballo-Toure and Paris Saint-Germain defender Abdou Diallo.

Senegal finished runners-up to Algeria at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and have already qualified for next year’s finals, delayed by a year due to the pandemic.

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Written by PH

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