EPL, La Liga, others may lose over 110 African players to AFCON 

OVER 110 African players may leave their respective clubs to feature in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) scheduled for January 13 to February 11, 2024, in Ivory Coast, The ICIR checks reveal.

On Wednesday, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) released the provisional lists submitted by coaches of all 24 participating teams.

Among the 24 teams are over 110 players plying their trades in the major leagues, which include the English Premier League (EPL) Spanish Premier League, known as Laliga, and the Italian top-flight league Serie A.

A breakdown of the players shows that 40 of them may disengage from their club activities in England to honour national assignments at the 2023 AFCON.

The EPL’s Nottingham Forest has the highest number of African players among the affected clubs. It may be without the services of five of its players.

Manchester City and Newcastle United are the only clubs exempted from the absence of a player going for AFCON 2023. 

In Arsenal, Egypt’s Mohamed Elneny and Ghana’s Thomas Partey may leave while Aston Villa may be without Burkina Faso’s Bertrand Traore during the tournament.

Ghana star, Thomas Partey

Should Burkina Faso’s Dango Ouattara and Ghana’s Antoine Semenyo make the final 27-man list, they will leave Bournemouth while Brentford may lose the service of DR Congo’s Yoane Wissa, Ivory Coast’s Hamed Traore and Nigeriaa’s Frank Onyeka.

Brighton & Hove Albion could miss the contribution of Ivory Coast’s Simon Adingra, Ghana’s Tariq Lamptey and Tunisia’s Samy Chouchane, while Burnley may play without South Africa’s Lyles Foster when the tournament kicks off.

Senegal’s Nicolas Jackson and Ghana’s Jordan Ayew may be called up for national assignment, leaving Chelsea and Crystal Palace without their services respectively.

Senegal star, Nicolas Jackson

Also, Senegal’s Idrissa Gueye and Mali’s Abdoulaye Doucoure may travel from Everton to raise the countries’ flags high, while in Fulham, Nigeria’s duo Calvin Bassey and Alex Iwobi with Senegal’s Fode Ballo could be at the AFCON.

This tournament may have Liverpool do away with Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, and Burkina Faso’s Issa Kabore may be absent at Luton Town while Manchester United be without Ivory Coast’s Amad Diallo, Morocco’s Sofyan Amrabat and Tunisia’s Hannibal Mejbri.

Egypt star, Mohammed Salah

Nottingham Forest’s players that could be at the AFCON are Ivory Coast’s duo Serge Aurier and Ibrahim Sangare, Senegal’s Cheikhou Kouyate and  Moussa Niakhate, with Nigeria’s Ola Aina.

Sheffield United’s African trio include Algeria’s Yasser Larouci, Ivory Coast’s Benie Adama Traore and Tunisia’s Anis Ben Slimane, while Tottenham Hotspur may miss Mali’s Yves Bissouma and Senegal’s Pape Matar Sarr.

West Ham United may not have the services of Algeria’s Said Benhrama, Ivory Coast’s Maxwel Cornet, Ghana’s Mohamed Kudus and Morocco’s Nayef Aguerd, as Wolverhampton Wanderers may miss Algeria’s Rayan Ait Nouri and Mali’s Boubacar Traore.

In Laliga, The ICIR discovered that more than 20 African footballers may be at the AFCON.

Clubs that will not lose any players to the fiesta are Real Madrid, Barcelona, Osasuna and Getafe, while bottom-placed Almeria may miss four players.

Valencia may not have the services of two regular players as Atletic Bilbao’s red-hot forward Inaki Williams may join Ghana in Ivory Coast for the tournament.

Atletico Madrid may not have the contribution of Mozambique’s Reinildo Mandava in their squad, while Youssef En Nesyri may depart Sevilla for Morocco and Girona may lose Ibrahima Kebe to Mali.

Real Sociedad duo of Hamari Traore of Mali and Umar Sadiq of Nigeria may be in Ivory Coast.

In Real Betis, Riad Chadi, Abde Elzzalzouli of Morocco and Youssouf Sabaly of Senegal may make it to their countries’ final 27-man list.

Morocco’s star, Abde Elzzalzouli

Coco Saul of Equatorial Guinea, Omenuke Mfulu of DR Congo,  Sory Kaba of Guinea and  Munir El Hadadi of Morocco may leave Las Palma for the AFCON.

Other players include Mouctar Diakhaby of Guinea and Amallah Selim of Morocco in Valencia. 

Rayo Vallecano may miss the presence of Pathe Ciss of Senegal,  Mumin Abdul of Ghana and Cape Verde’s Carlos Fernandes Batalha (also known as Bebe). Cadiz may release   Rominigue KoKouam of Mali and Mamadou Mbaye of Senegal.

Villareal, Mallorca, Granada and Celta Vigo may miss Aissa Mandi of Algeria, Amath Ndiaye of Senegal, Jonathan Bamba of Ivory Coast, and Famara Diedhiou of Senegal.

Jesus Owono of Equatorial Guinea and Abdelkebir Abqar of Morocco may leave Alaves for the AFCON.

African players who may participate in the tournament at Almeria include Houboulang Mendes of Guinea Bissau, Baba Iddrisu of Ghana, Dion Lopy of Senegal, and Marciano Sanca of Guinea Bissau.

In Serie A, Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen, Ademola Lookman, and Samuel Chukwueze are among the players who may be at the AFCON.

Nigeria’s star, Victor Osimhen

In Italy, 51 players may leave, but below are a few who may participate in the fiesta.

Atalanta: Lookman (Nigeria), El Bilal Touré (Mali)

Bologna: El Azzouzi (Morocco)

Cagliari: Luvumbo (Angola), Sulemana (Ghana), Mutandwa (Zambia). 

Empoli: Ebuehi and Ekong (Nigeria) Gyasi (Ghana), Maleh (Morocco).

Fiorentina: Duncan (Ghana), Nzola (Angola), Kouame (Ivory Coast)

Frosinone: Harroui, Bidaoui, Cheddira and Bourabia (Morocco)

Genoa: Ekuban (Ghana)

Inter: none

Juventus: none

Lazio: none

Lecce: Rafia (Tunisia), Banda (Zambia), Touba (Algeria)

Milan: Bennacer (Algeria), Chukwueze (Nigeria)

Monza: Akpa Akpro (Ivory Coast), Machin (Guinea)

Napoli: Osimhen (Nigeria), Anguissa (Cameroon)

Roma: N’Dicka (Ivory Coast), Aouar (Algeria)

Salernitana: Simy and Ikwuemesi (Nigeria), Dia (Senegal), Coulibaly (Mali), Bronn (Tunisia), Cabral (Cape Verde)



    Sassuolo: Obiang (Guinea)

    Torino: Djidji and Karamoh (Ivory Coast), Tameze (Cameroon), Seck (Senegal)

    Udinese: Ehizibue, Success and Okoye (Nigeria), Ebosse (Cameroon), Kamara (Ivory Coast), Masina (Morocco)

    Verona: Hongla (Cameroon)

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