Afcon qualifiers: ‘We’re very affected’ – Comoros’ Athouman laments absence of France based stars
Posted On March 19, 2021
Comorian football boss complained about the unavailability of France-based pros for this month’s qualifiers
The president of the Comorian Football Federation, Ali Said Athouman, is unhappy that his country is missing the services of five players in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers in March against Togo and Egypt.
The quintet namely Faiz Mattoir (AC Ajaccio), Mohamed Youssouf (AC Ajaccio), Mohamed M’Changama (Guingamp), Yacine Bourhane (Niort) and Younn Zahary (Pau) would inevitably be absent from Coelacants‘last two games.
The Professional Football League (LFP) had confirmed that French teams would prevent their players from traveling for any international match outside of Europe.
The deal was reached following a meeting between Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs on Wednesday – a verdict that will affect most African countries which have their star players in France.
One of those nations is the island of Comoros, which is set to qualify for its first appearance at the African Football Biennale.
“It’s a very, very difficult situation for us and it’s terrible to deprive of this game the players who have been involved for years in the national team, some of whom are near the end of their careers,” said Athouman. The team.
“We are a small federation, a small country. We have worked hard to get to this point, so we suffer more than others from these absences (five players).
“We don’t have the capacity to replace some executives. We are very touched.
He also revealed that he had been in contact with Ajaccio boss Christian Leca, but the situation remains the same.
“[My meeting] went very well with him and he understood the situation, ”he continued.
“For the clubs that don’t play anything, I thought we would let them come but no. I had (Fred) Legrand, the president of Guingamp, I was even ready to have our player (Youssouf M’Changama) play against Togo (Thursday) and we would have let him go afterwards.
“I would have lived up to my commitment. And that’s where we are. These are players who gave themselves for their selection. It breaks a player like that.
As it stands, Comoros are second in Group G with eight points and a victory in one of their last two outings would secure them a place in Cameroon.