Africa players in the top two divisions of French football have been banned from leaving Europe, threatening the squads of countries facing crucial qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations.

This followed an unanimous agreement by all the club in the top two divisions in France to prevent their players from leaving the EU and the European Economic Area, because of the quarantine period they would have to undergo on their return to France due to fears of Covid-19 transmission overseas.

The decision means many African countries will be without their star players for two rounds of fixtures to be played between 24 and 30 March to determine the 24 teams that will partake in Africa top football competition to be hosted by Cameroon in January 2022.

Countries in French Speaking part of Africa including Senegal, Mali, Cameroon, Ivory Coast among others will be mostly affected since majority pf their squad play their club football in France.