Bayer Leverkusen CEO Fernando Carro has voiced his strong opposition to the scheduling of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), deeming it “unacceptable.”
He is considering taking legal action to protect the club’s African players from international duty during the tournament, which is set to take place in Ivory Coast from January 13 to February 11, 2024.
Carro expressed his dissatisfaction with the timing of the AFCON, stating, “It is unacceptable that the Africa Cup is being played in the middle of the season.” He also mentioned his intention to engage in a dispute with FIFA in order to address the issue. Carro emphasized the need for a change in scheduling to avoid disrupting club competitions.
“We are exploring the possibility of not having to release the players and will enter into a dispute with FIFA to bring about this change,” Carro asserted. He emphasized the club’s commitment to finding a solution by exploring all available options.
While Carro acknowledged the complexity of the situation, he clarified, “It is not realistic to prevent anyone from representing their nation, and I don’t want to do that in principle.” However, he expressed concern about the potential impact on Bayer Leverkusen’s campaign.
Prominent players such as Amine Adli (Morocco), Odilon Kossounou (Ivory Coast), Edmond Tapsoba (Burkina Faso), Nathan Tella, and Victor Boniface (Nigeria) currently play in the Bundesliga for Leverkusen.