Guinea defender Ousmane Kante has said he is “disappointed” to miss out on the country’s qualifiers for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations after clubs in the top two French leagues implemented a ban on their players leaving the European Union.
The ban, which was formally announced on Wednesday, prevents any player in Ligue 1 and 2 from travelling outside the EU / European Economic Area because of the amount of time they have to spend in quarantine when returning to France.
This has hit teams like Guinea – who have a number of France-based players, including Kante at Paris FC – ahead of the final round of qualifying fixtures for the Nations Cup finals in Cameroon.
“It’s disappointing because we are not qualified yet,” Kante told BBC Sport Africa.
“I personally really wanted to play in these qualifiers.”
Guinea face Mali at home on 24 March followed by their final Group A fixture away in Namibia.
Guinea are second in the group – the top two qualify – and five points ahead of third-placed Namibia.
Kante stated that although he was sad to be missing the games, he believed the there was enough depth in Didier Six’s squad to compensation for the loss of the France-based players.
“We only need one point and I think that we can do it in those two matches we still have,” he said.
“Of course we want to take part, but on the other hand, we can also understand the club’s position.
“For us personally, we [at Paris FC] have an interesting end of the season as we are facing teams that are direct rivals for promotion, so I can understand the club wants to have all its ammunition.”
Kante said that on a wider level, it was clear that the qualifying would be impacted, as the level some teams would be able to reach would be reduced.
“Not everybody will fight on equal terms, for sure,” he said.
He added that he retained “perspective” from the fact that as a footballer, he has the “privilege to be able to do what we are passionate about.”
“Some people don’t have that chance,” he added.