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Arsenal rule Thomas Partey out of Ghana clash with South Africa, but can play against Sao Tome Principe

Ghana deputy captain Thomas Partey can only feature in one of Black Stars two Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers later this month.

The Black Stars face South Africa in Johannesburg on March 25, and host Sao Tome and Principe in Accra three days later.

But Arsenal have ruled that Partey cannot play away in South Africa but he can play at home to Sao Tome and Principe.

This is because South Africa is on the UK’s Covid-19 ‘red list’. UK government ruled that anyone returning from coronavirus ‘red list’ countries – including elite athletes – is required to quarantine for 10 days, without exception.

“The ones [Partey and other African players] that are going to be in red zone countries, they won’t be able to play those fixtures,” confirmed Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.

“The rest we have to allow them to go if they are fit and we will stick to the protocols and all the guidance we have to try to allow our players to go when they are safe.

“Some might be able to play one game and not the next game so it’s a lot still to figure out.

“The doc is in constant communication with the Premier League and the federations but it’s not too simple.”

Ghana coach Charles Akonnor is expected to announce his final squad for the games on Friday.

Black Stars need a point to seal qualification to the tournament in Cameroon next year.


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