Ex-international, Adokiyi Amiesimaka, has called on the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to appeal to the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to accommodate the second round matches of 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in their calendar for international matches.
Many clubs in Europe will be beginning pre-season training when the crucial second legs of the second round of the qualifiers that will decide who advances to group stages and FIFA said the clubs do not have to release their players for those matches billed for August 1 and 3.
But to avoid club-versus-country rows, CAF said they will be, where possible, write concerned clubs asking for release of their players pointing out “due to calendar constraints it was difficult to do things in another manner”.
Talking to TheCable, the former chairman of Sharks Football Club said the issue should be handled in a different way.
“FIFA calendar is supreme and the other regional bodies should always align with it; they should always queue behind FIFA,” he said.
“What CAF need do is to appeal to FIFA to recognise those dates in August so clubs can release their players for the games. They must give a compelling reason to FIFA for this.”
The group stage matches featuring the likes of Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon fall on dates approved by FIFA, meaning clubs around the globe must release players for these games. However, Amiesimaka wants Nigeria to be concerned about this matter.
“We shouldn’t say because we are not affected we shouldn’t show interest in the matter. What if it affects us in future Afcon qualifiers?” he asked rhetorically.
“Going forward, CAF should not act unilaterally; sit in their backyard and arrange matches without looking at FIFA calendar and adjust theirs accordingly.”