With rumors building that several players representing African national teams would opt out of the Cup of Nations, there’s some clarity in Wednesday’s soccer news. Inside World Soccer’s Paul Nicholson reports that seven members of Cameroon’s National Team aren’t participating in Africa’s confederation championship.
The issues with the Cup of Nations are nothing new. Scheduled for mid-January, the tournament runs at the same time as the European club schedule. Elite African players on elite teams regularly face pressure to choose club over country, whether or not it’s even a choice. FIFA comes down on the side of countries for recognized tournaments. Africa’s Cup of Nations is certainly a recognized tournament. Clubs have to release players, and not even international retirements relieve them of that obligation.
So the Cup of Nations finds itself in the club vs country fight. No tournament wants weakened teams. No club wants to see their players suspended from club duty during the tournament should they decline a call-up. What this means for the future of the Cup of Nations in January is also an old question, with plenty of pressure on CAF to move the competition to the summer window.
Moving on, Paste’s James Bridget Gordon speaks with USMNT and Seattle Sounders player Jordan Morris. FourFourTwo’s Charles Boehm interviews former USMNT player and US youth soccer coach Hugo Perez. The New England Revolution announce former USMNT player Carlos Llamosa as an assistant coach. Llamosa had been an assistant with the NY Cosmos in the NASL. USSoccer.com has lots of familiar faces in the first class to complete US Soccer’s new Pro License course.
Writing for This is Anfield, Jonathan Wilson compares the current version of Liverpool to the 1980s. The Daily Post’s Andy Mitten on David Moyes making the trip to Old Trafford with Sunderland. The Mirror’s David McDonnell has Manchester United wanting to extend Jose Mourinho’s contract. Yahoo! Sport’s Kristan Heneage looks at how Arsenal deals with pressure. The Telegraph has Keith Hackett rank rank the Premier League referees. The Daily Mail’s Laurie Whitwell has David Wagner choosing Huddersfield Town over Wolfsburg.
— Julian Green (@J_Green37) December 21, 2016
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