afcon 2023 nff and clubs secure player release accord

AFCON 2023: NFF and Clubs Secure Player Release Accord

Last updated on December 19th, 2023 at 04:21 pm

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has successfully navigated potential hurdles by securing an accord with European clubs housing Super Eagles players. The agreement ensures the timely release of invited players for the final camping in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), gearing up for the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), scheduled from January 12 to February 11, 2024.

Overcoming Apprehensions: Clubs Aligned with AFCON Plans

In the buildup to the much-anticipated AFCON tournament, concerns emerged about the willingness of European clubs to release their star players for pre-tournament training. This concern was particularly pronounced as the training days did not align with the FIFA open window, raising fears of potential conflicts with ongoing league commitments.

However, dispelling such concerns, Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Media Director, assured that the clubs are on board with the plan. According to Olajire, the players will be granted release by their respective clubs in time for the camp, set to commence on January 2. This collaborative effort between the NFF and the clubs underscores a shared commitment to optimal preparation for the prestigious continental football event.

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Peseiro’s Pending Picks: Anticipation for the Final Squad

While the cooperation between the NFF and the European clubs is settled, the final list of players for the Super Eagles is yet to be revealed. Coach Jose Peseiro is expected to submit his 50-man provisional list shortly. Once received, the NFF will communicate the selections to the involved clubs, triggering the official release process.

Speaking on the matter, Ademola Olajire stated, “The Super Eagles’ list is not yet out. I don’t know when, but the players will definitely be released as from January 1.” The anticipation for Peseiro’s squad heightens, adding an element of suspense to the prelude of AFCON 2023.

CAF’s Call: All Nations in Harmony for AFCON 2023

In a broader context, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed that all 24 nations slated for the AFCON 2023 have submitted their provisional squads, adhering to the stipulated regulations. Member associations were required to submit a provisional list, not exceeding 55 players, by December 14, 2023.

According to tournament regulations, the final squads for AFCON 2023 will comprise 27 players, a deviation from the previous limit of 23. CAF emphasizes that the inclusion of four additional players in the final list is optional, providing teams with flexibility in shaping their squads for the competition.

The deadline for submitting the final squads is set for January 3, 2023, precisely 10 days before the kickoff of the opening match. This timeline accentuates the urgency and strategic planning required by national teams as they finalize their squads for the prestigious tournament.

Navigating the Road Ahead: Ensuring Seamless Preparations

As the countdown to AFCON 2023 progresses, the collaborative efforts between the NFF and European clubs serve as a beacon of unity and commitment. The alignment of interests ensures that players selected to represent the Super Eagles will have the opportunity for focused and uninterrupted preparation in Abu Dhabi.

Conclusion: An Optimistic Prelude to AFCON 2023

In conclusion, the convergence of interests between the NFF, clubs, and CAF bodes well for the smooth execution of AFCON 2023. The proactive measures taken by the NFF to secure player release, coupled with the adherence to CAF regulations, paints an optimistic picture for the upcoming tournament.

In the dynamic landscape of football, where meticulous planning and coordination are paramount, the harmonious collaboration between football associations and clubs is a testament to the collective dedication toward ensuring the success and spectacle of AFCON 2023.