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Afcon 2021: Crystal Palace Manager, Patrick Vieira, Says Tournament Deserves More Respect

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has insisted that the Africa Cup of Nations deserves more respect. 

The Senegal-born former France international is set to lose three of his players to the tournament when he kicks off in Cameroon on the 9th of January, 2022. 

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira’s statement was released as reports say that top clubs in Europe threatened that they would not release their players for the Afcon because they have concerns over the tournament’s COVID-19 protocol. 

In a letter that the European Club Association wrote to Fifa, they said that they could not release their players if the tournament would make them miss their club matches. 

Yesterday, Cheikhou Kouyate was named to the Senegal squad, while Ivory Coast also included Jordan Ayew and Wilfried Zaha as part of the provisional list which Ghana announced. 

“I respect and understand the passion and the importance for players to represent their country, so I will not ever stop any player from going to play in the Africa Cup of Nations,” Patrick Vieira said. 

“I believe that the competition needs to be more respected because this competition is as important as the European Championships.” He added 

He also challenged more European journalists to take a greater interest in the event and appreciate exactly what he meant for the African continent. 

“It might be important for you guys to cover the Africa Cup of Nations a little bit more and to go to Africa and interview people to really understand what it means for every single one of them,” he concluded. 

“When you talk about Senegal, I do not think that people would really understand if Sadio Mane or Cheikou Kouyate did not represent their nation. If more coverage of the competition is possible, I think people will understand how important it is for the African continent. ” Crystal Palace manager, Patrick Vieira, added.

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