Algeria captain and Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez has spoken about the importance of the Africa Cup of Nations after the European Clubs association attempted have the tournament postponed.
In December the ECA, which includes the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Bayern Munich among its 234 members, wrote to FIFA to express their concerns over the African competition and threatened not to release players.
FIFA then dismissed their agitation by backing the Confederation of Africa’s (CAF) preparation for the tournament.
Scroll through the gallery below to see the EPL stars who were called up to the Africa Cup of Nations
Mahrez has now had his say on the controversial topic that seemed to cloud the build-up to the prestigious competition.
“Our clubs had no opinion because the Africa Cup of Nations is a big tournament like the Euros or the Copa America,” he said, per KingFut.
The defending champions, Algeria, were drawn in Group E alongside Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea and Sierre Leone.
“We want to make our country and people proud,” Mahrez said in the pre-game press conference.
“We came to Cameroon to perform as well as we did in 2019.”
Here are the highest-ranked African nations in the latest rankings.