Congo DR, Ghana, Mali and Niger are in Group B of the African Cup of Nations and their involvement has either directly or indirectly affected teams such as Bristol City, Arsenal, Leicester City, Birmingham City, West Ham, Fulham, Wolves, Crewe Alexandra, Brighton & HA, Peterbrough, Doncaster Rovers, Burton Albion and Watford.
Next year the African Nations Cup is once again in full flow as Zambia look to defend their title in South Africa. As always the competition will have an effect on global football as many stars players from the bigger leagues consider joining up with their countries in a bid to become kings of their home continent.
The Confederation of African Football has set the deadline for the submission of squads for January 9th; with the full list of 23-players being named by midnight. Any late submissions will see a substantial fine and the loss of a player from the list.
Some teams have announced their preliminary squads or training camp teams early but this of course doesn’t cater for the English League system whose continued lack of a winter break means most of the English based players will not be available until shortly before the competition starts on the 19th January.
But which Premier League and football league teams are going to win and lose from the Africa Cup of Nations?
Here is a country-by-country guide for Group B.
The most likely loss will be Bristol City winger Albert Adomah who has been included in the original preliminary squad ahead of the January 9th deadline. There is however a large pool of Ghanaian nationals playing in the UK and the some have recently been called up to action so could feature despite not being named in the preliminary squad if others succumb to injury. Arsenal youngsters Daniel Boateng and Emmanuel Frimpong were recent call-ups and Championship duo Jeff Schlupp and Akwasi Asante of Leicester City and Birmingham City respectively could also be unavailable for up to a month.
The Eagles were the national side who first ignited the debate on releasing players for the African Nations when they called up the previously uncapped Fredi Kanoute in 2004. This time around they will cause less of a fuss as West Ham United would have to have been well aware of Modibo Maiga’s intentions to travel with his country. QPR again could be hit if Samba Diakite decides to travel while Fulham midfielder Mahamadou Diarra, who has struggled with injury this season, is another maybe. Wolves are the only other team likely to lose a man in the form of Tongo Doumbia.
Another shock qualifier as they disposed of Guinea in the qualifying stages. None of the squad have links to the UK but their defeat of Guinea has prevented the National Elephants from tempting Mathias Pogba, brother of ex Manchester United prospect Paul Pogba into representation after a good season so far with Crewe Alexandra.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Their captain Lomana Lua-Lua is no longer with Blackpool but his brother Kazenga, as yet uncapped, could be called upon at the expense of Brighton and Hove Albion. There are plenty of other players from the football league who are likely to be called upon by manager Claude Le Roy including Gabriel Zakuani of Peterbrough and Herita Ilunga of Doncaster Rovers. Burton Albion midfielder Jacques Maghoma is also a likely addition while Britt Assombalonga of Watford cannot be discounted. Reported Arsenal target Dieumerci Mbokani of Anderlecht will also be on his way.
Who do you think loses out most from the 2013 African Cup of Nations?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald