French Ligue 1 club Metz has declined to release its Algerian duo of Farid Boulaya and Alexandre Oukidja for their 2021 AFCON Group H qualifier against Zambia on March 25 in Lusaka.
The French club has cited Covid-19 concerns as reasons for refusing to release midfielder Boulaya and goalkeeper Oukidja.
Oukidja is seventh placed Metz’s first choice goalkeeper but is Algerian deputy to Rais M’Bolihi.
Boulaya, who has five goals for Metz this season, recently won January’s Ligue 1 Player of The Month award.
But both players were unused substitutes in last November’s Group H doubleheader against Zimbabwe that the AFCON champions won 3-1 at home and drew 2-2 in Harare.
Algeria have qualified to the Cameroon finals with two games in hand on 10 points, five points more than second placed Zimbabwe.
They are seven points ahead of bottom placed Zambia who must win their last two matches to keep their slim Group H qualifying hopes alive.
Botswana are third on 4 points.
Zambia will four days after the Algeria game visit Zimbabwe to play their final Group H qualifier.