Date: 4th December 2007 at 1:05pm
Written by:

Recently Nigerian coach Berti Vogts insisted that all his Nigerian stars – with no exceptions – would have to report to a 14 day training camp ahead of the African nations.

This angered not just Pompey, but other clubs with Nigerian internationals in their squads, with it also feared that other African nations could follow suit?

But as Peter Storrie told The News this is something that Pompey are going to fight: ‘we will be protesting strongly and will be discussing it with the nations conceded.

‘It’s just ridiculous. We all know who the clubs in the quarter-finals will be, what do they need a 14-day warm-up for?

‘We do not have to release them. There are FIFA rules which legislate for this.

‘We will speak to all these nations because it is totally crazy. These players are still needed here’.

I think that we all agree – even Vogts – that the African nations cup is played at the wrong time of year. Whilst we can do nothing about it this year, this ‘early release’ demand is something that is ludicrous, and for the reasons Storrie explained makes this something that should not happen.

Yep, I can understand this is a major event for the African continent and this means as much to them as the European championships do to European nationals so I am not knocking the importance of this competition, but as we had already discussed this early release is not something that is needed.

At the time when this was first revealed my thoughts were that this was something that would not be allowed as FIFA rules would not allow this, this appears to be the case. Hopefully this can be agreed amicably however…

Either way I would not expect John Utaka or Kanu – or any other Africans for that matter – to be leaving much sooner than had originally been expected.

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