As Watford deny Emmanuel Dennis’ AFCON dreams, should Liverpool do the same with our African stars?

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Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis has reportedly been blocked from participating in AFCON by his club, should Liverpool do the same with Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita?

The reward for the Nigerian’s brilliant performances for Claudio Ranieri’s side is having his participation in Africa’s premier footballing competition blocked, at a period where many are questioning the disrespect being shown toward the competition.

However; if a football club is paying someone tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds, per week, are they not within their rights to block them leaving for a month?

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There is no doubting that all African players would love to participate in the competition and would happily forgo a month of domestic football to do so but in any other walk of life, it’s unlikely they would be able to.

Maybe this should be the call of the club’s as they are employing the players and certainly paying them enough to expect their attendance at work.

Seeing how much it would mean to the player and wanting to keep some of the biggest stars on side, it’s likely that most clubs would still allow their players to leave and it’s unlikely Jurgen Klopp would stop any of his players from taking part.

Nevertheless; it shouldn’t be frowned upon for a club to have to do this and there should either be a break in play for all teams with players participating, or the competition shouldn’t be played in the middle of a season.

It appears that the main reason for suspected disrespect of the competition is because of when it is being held, if this was the Euros, Copa America or any other international tournament taking part in the middle of the season – it would have the same reaction.

Football clubs have the right to make the call either way, as would happen with anyone in any job, but they should also show compassion to allow these African stars to take part in the prestigious tournament.

Liverpool shouldn’t, nor wouldn’t, block Salah, Mane and Keita from participating but Watford shouldn’t be shamed for making a call that is only in the best interest of their club.

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  1. Disrespectful and racist from Watford. Really don’t see how you can argue they are right.
    Did Emanuel Dennis become African yesterday or was he African when he signed for Watford?
    Was the AFCON placed in January yesterday or has it been on the calendar for over a year?

    Dennis has been carrying Watford this season and someone of his calibre should be playing international football. If you don’t want international quality African players to leave your club in the middle of the season to represent their countries then don’t sign them…it’s that simple.

    You can’t have it both ways

    As for your false equivalence with other tournaments, don’t be ridiculous. You’re either being naive , or deliberately disingenuous because you know damn well no UK journalist will EVER ask Harry Kane whether he’d prefer to stay with his club rather than play for England.

  2. As a Watford fan I have to say I am quite uncomfortable with the decision they club has made. I should also point out that the Nigerian Football Association themselves were at fault as they failed to request Emmanuel Dennis release from the club before the official deadline.

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