Morocco became the first nation to qualify for the 2008 African Nations Cup in Ghana after a gift-wrapped 1-0 victory in Malawi yesterday ? all of which means our very own Youssef Safri could miss a significant chunk of City's Championship campaign.
The fact that the Canaries will be without one of their key performers for, potentially, the whole of January will not sit well with City boss Peter Grant and it will be interesting to see the Scot's reaction if his side are fighting at the business end of the table.
The sudden disappearance of Safri ? a firm favourite with the Carrow Road faithful ? might just upset the apple cart in the same way Robert Earnshaw's groin did back at the turn of this year.
Both big players, and both the type most Championship bosses would love to mould a promotion winning team around.
Chelsea chief Jose Mourinho has already voiced his disapproval at the timing of the tournament and it's easy to understand his frustration; the 'Special One' will be without no fewer than four key members of the Blues squad – Didier Drogba, John Obi Mikel, Micheal Essien and Geremi.
When you are paying these guys a small fortune – well, for the boys from the Kings Road it is usually a big fortune – it does seem a tad unfair to have them swiped away at a time when leagues are won and lost. January really is nitty, gritty time.
Closer to home, at least Grant will have plenty of time to mull over his options, should the Moroccan make the plane to Ghana2008.
Of course, this is assuming that the midfielder ? signed from Coventry in the summer of 2004 ? is still in Norfolk when the finals come around.
His future has been the subject of much debate in recent months and most supporters would admit last season was a disappointing one. In truth, it was Safri's most troublesome in yellow and green and when he publicly voiced his displeasure at being left on the substitute's bench, many thought it was the beginning of the end.
However, the 30-year-old fought back into Grant's starting eleven, only to miss the last few games of the campaign with a hamstring injury.
It seems the very same hamstring problem is still giving cause for concern, as according to the Atlas Lions website, Safri did not play a part in yesterday's 1-0 success.
He missed the 2-0 victory over Zimbabwe on June 2nd as a precaution but City physio Neal Reynolds was quoted as saying he expected the midfield playmaker to make the Malawi encounter.
The game itself was largely uneventful and the Atlas Lions ran out comfortable winners against a poor Malawi side.
Defeat in his first competitive match was blow for the recently installed Malawi coach, Englishman Stephen Constantine.
It took the away team just nine minutes to open the scoring when Malawi keeper Simon Kapusa hesitated to clear and striker Bouchaib al-Moubaraki snatched the ball and slotted it into an unguarded net.
It was the first goal by the Qatar-based Moroccan in the qualifying competition and gave his country an unassailable seven-point advantage in Group 12.
Morocco completed a four-match programme with 10 points after defeating Malawi home and away and beating Zimbabwe on terra firma – in addition to a hard-earned point in Harare.
After the 'gift' goal the Atlas Lions retreated into a defensive shell and comfortably contained their opponents, who were unable to exert any sustained pressure before the 30,000 Kamuzu Stadium crowd.
Morocco coach Mohamed Fakhir now has seven months to develop a squad capable of challenging for the greatest prize in African football after a dismal showing at the previous tournament in Egypt last year.
Safri and Co failed to win a match or even score a single goal as they finished a disappointing third behind eventual champions Egypt and runners-up Ivory Coast and only one point above minnows Libya.