Rangers 'sent Covid assurances' from African Cup of Nations organisers

Organisers of the African Cup of Nations insist the tournament will be ready to ensure the safety of all participants – which is expected to include Rangers players Leon Balogun and Joe Aribo.

Joe Aribo. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Joe Aribo. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Next month’s competition, in Cameroon, has raised concerns with the rapid spread of the virus and omicron variant with European club officials currently refusing to sanction early release of players before the start of the tournament.

Aribo and Balogun are expected to be called up for Nigeria’s tournament squad – as could uncapped Ibrox defender Calvin Bassey – who begin their competition during the SPFL winter shutdown, on January 11.

The match with Egypt comes nine days after the league champions’ crucial top of the Premiership clash with Celtic on January 2.

However after the European Club Association – which includes Rangers – raised concerns over the protocols, organisers say players will be kept safe and clubs have less to worry about.

Quotes from Confederation of African Football general secretary, Veron Mosengo-Omba, reported by The Scottish Sun, said: "The confederation is doing everything possible to ensure participants’ safety.

"I had meetings with Cameroon's sports and public health ministers and that was important in getting a level of understanding on the state of readiness in the country.

"There is a lot of work that is being done. We have to continue with the same momentum. We cannot rest. We have to work around the clock.

"Everyone must join the efforts. We want to see a great African Cup of Nations here in Cameroon and we will."

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