Union Berlin would withdraw its Nigerian top striker Taiwo Awoniyi from the Africa Cup in Cameroon (January 9th to February 6th) under certain conditions. “If Cameroon is classified as a virus variant area, it will be difficult to hold this Africa Cup as it is now planned,” said Union manager Oliver Ruhnert in a media round on Wednesday.
In that case, Awoniyi would “travel back” within the time window of 48 hours to the start of the regulation, so Ruhnert: “That is also what we discussed with the player and the agent.”
With the corresponding classification, which also entails a 14-day quarantine for vaccinated players, “the pressure from the clubs on FIFA would be great,” said Ruhnert. The status quo is currently different: “The player is not available, Cameroon is a high-risk area, the player is vaccinated and comes back after the Africa Cup and is then available again.”
In that case, Awoniyi, who scored nine goals in the first half of the Bundesliga, would miss the first second half of the season. “That annoys us and is also not good for us because we will miss him without any question,” said Ruhnert, who also has organizational concerns about the Africa Cup: “The clubs are very unhappy. We still don’t have a hygiene concept, we do are still having trouble understanding how the process is. ” In addition, the nomination was made far too late.
“Of course, all of these things made it difficult for us to plan,” said Union’s squad planner: “But in the end it is an official tournament, we have to respect that first.”