Brexit has cost us two players, say Conference League opponents

  • by Staff Writer
  • Wednesday, 17th August 2022

West Ham United's Conference League play-off opponents Viborg have expressed their disappointment after being informed that two of their players will be unable to feature in Thursday's first leg at the London Olympic Stadium due to visa issues.

Ibrahim Said, who hails from Nigeria and team mate Alassana Jatta, born in Gambia have been told they will not be able to enter the UK as part of Viborg's match day squad this week due to what the Danish club have referred to as "English entry rules for non-EU citizens after Brexit".

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Jatta to miss first leg

The Danes claim they have tried every possible way to allow the players to travel with the rest of the squad without success - leaving them short of two key members of their squad for the first leg.

"The VFF must disregard Ibrahim Said and Alassana Jatta for the away match against West Ham," said Viborg Sporting Director Jesper Fredberg. "We are extremely sorry that we have not been able to get visas for the two players.

"We have tried everything and have been in close contact with DBU [the Danish FA], UEFA, the two embassies and another foreign club which has been in a similar situation.

"Unfortunately this has proved to be impossible as there is a processing time of several weeks - and the match was only finally decided a week ago [following the win against B36 Torshavn].

"It is very unfortunate on a sporting level as both players would have had a role in the match, but even more unfortunate on a human level as the two will miss out on a great experience."

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Midfielder Said will also be absent

20-year-old left-winger Said has featured in all of Viborg's Conference League qualifiers and Superligaen fixtures so far this season, a total of nine matches during which he has scored one goal and provided two assists.

Centre forward Jatta, 23, has featured in Viborg's last three fixtures and scored his only goal of the campaign so far against B36 in the last round of the Conference League.

While the decision will no doubt benefit West Ham United, there is no question that they can be held responsible for what is UK Government policy. The club have no plans to comment on the decision.

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