Liverpool are set to lose Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita for the Africa Cup of Nations, with the rescheduled tournament set to begin on 9 January and conclude on 6 February.
Liverpool are hopeful that the trio won’t have to join up with their countries until after their clash with title rivals Chelsea on 2 January, but the associations are entitled to demand that the players be released on December 27.
Discussions are ongoing, but there’s a possibility that Salah, Mane and Keita could miss up to four Premier League matches. That could be a huge blow for the Reds given the sensational form of the Egyptian in particular, who leads the Premier League charts for both goals and assists.
Doubts about wisdom of holding AFCON?
At a meeting on Thursday, the Executive Board of the European Club Association (ECA) ‘expressed its deep concerns about player safety and welfare’ ahead of the tournament. This is ‘in light of the worsening public health situation’.
The ECA will work with FIFA to ‘ensure all necessary precautions are in place’ for the protection of players and ‘club interests’.
Fan feed Anfield Edition relayed their statement, and here’s how some Reds supporters reacted.
Liverpool fans flock to AFCON latest
“I totally agree !!! AFCON SHOULDNT HAPPEN”
“AFCON must be cancelled for the sake of everyone’s safety”
“I hope they just cancel or at least postpone it. Risks are huge and we would like to see empty stadiums again. Football without fans is nothing”
“Can’t see it going ahead”
“If they cancel it we might win it all…”
In other news, many Liverpool fans hailed this pre-Wolves injury update
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience