Stoke City manager Mark Hughes is furious with the “unfair” rules over which players are released, and when, for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Several players have pulled out of the tournament, while Stoke will be without three Hughes wanted for the FA Cup clash against Wolves on Saturday.
Mame Biram Diouf (Senegal), Wilfried Bony (Ivory Coast) and Ramadan Sobhi (Egypt) will miss the outing.
“It just smacks of being a bit unfair and not consistent and it allows clubs in our league to gain an advantage,” Hughes said, via the Daily Star.
“It should be one rule across all the associations then there wouldn’t be anybody going away from that.
“Some associations are more receptive to requests and the ones we’ve dealt with were OK with Mame Diouf but less so with other players.
“It seems to be dependent on who you’re talking to.”
Stoke host Wolves before league meetings with Sunderland, Manchester United and Everton.