The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has launched an appeal to the British government to exempt African footballers who are hoping to return to their home countries next week to compete in the World Cup qualifiers from its ‘Red List.

The collective decision by the clubs of the Premier League to refuse to release players headed to countries for international duties means that players will face necessary quarantine measures when they return.

A statement from CAF reads as follows:

“CAF, on behalf of all African member associations, African players and fans, has urged the British Government to urgently provide the required exemptions to enable African players to compete for their countries in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

“CAF notes that similar exemptions were granted by the British government to enable the attendance of delegations and officials, among others, at the final of the European Championship held less than two months ago. It is further noted that the circumstances in the African countries on the red list in many cases are in fact less severe than other countries not currently on this list or for which exemptions were previously provided”

CAF has given assurances that all of next month’s World Cup qualifiers in Africa, which will be played from Sept 1 through to Sept 7, would be under strict health conditions and protocols developed by Fifa and applied across the world.