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  • Whitecaps Refuse to Release Midfielder Khalfan for International Duty


    According to several reports from across the pond, the Tanzanian Football Federation (TFF) is furious with the Vancouver Whitecaps over their refusal to release Nizar Khalfan. The 22-year-old former Moro United standout, had been slated for international duty in an African Cup of Nations match against Central African Republic, TFF general secretary Angetile Osiah told Tanzania Daily News:


    "The player is obliged to respond affirmatively when summoned to represent his national team, Whitecaps know the regulations and should release him, if they neglect to do so, then we would take possible measures
    Generally, clubs are notified at least two weeks ahead of a fixture and the TFF are adament that they informed Vancouver by Mar. 2 and followed the proper channels of communication with the club, as stipulated by FIFA. According to the TFF, The Whitecaps' position is that they were not notified in writing of the request prior to the 14 day minimum, and they were only informed of the players invitation just this week.

    Now the Federation is now prepared to pursue legal action against The 'Caps.

    "What they are saying is entirely not true. I recall we notified them soon after Coach Jan Poulsen, had availed us with the list of professional players lined up for the CAR match; we did inform other clubs too."---TFF General Secretary Angetile Osiah (Tanzania Daily News)
    Which ever way you slice it, this one leaves a funny taste in my mouth. Boniface Wambura, Information Officer of the TFF has told The Guardian he expects Khalfan to arrive today (Thursday). Which seems weird since the club has not made this news public yet.

    I have never seen The 'Caps front office refuse to release a player. Man, Woman, or Youth - it's never been an issue for the players to leave for international duty. Jay DeMerit and Michael Boxall were both allowed to go and suit up for their respective nations, so it would be quite baffling that Khalfan would not be given the same green light to go wear his national colours.

    Vancouver are going to be thin in the midfield going into this match and with Head Coach Teitur Thordason having already noted that Russell Teibert will play a maximum of 65 minutes this Saturday, Khalfan's presence could make a world of difference. Davide Chiumiento is already nursing an injury that occurred during last Saturday's match so if the 'Caps want to keep this winning streak alive they might need to stick to their guns.

    We'll have to wait and see how this one plays out but it's a first in my memory for a National Federation to threaten legal action against a club in this manner.

    Vancouver club officials were unavailable for further comment at this time.

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