English Premier League clubs say they will not release players for international matches played in red-list countries next month.
One African football star affected is Egypt’s Liverpool player Mohammed Salah.
The clubs’ decision, supported by the Premier League, will apply to nearly 60 players from 19 clubs in the UK who are due to travel to 26 red-list countries in the September international window.
This followed FIFA’s current position not to extend its temporary release exception for players required to quarantine on their return from international duty.
Extensive discussions have taken place with the English FA and the UK government to find a solution, “but due to ongoing public health concerns relating to incoming travellers from red-list countries, no exemption has been granted.”
“If required to quarantine on return from red list countries, not only would players’ welfare and fitness be significantly impacted,” said the FA. “But they would also be unavailable to prepare for and play in two Premier League match rounds, a UEFA club competition matchday and the third round of the EFL Cup.”
It added that the period took into consideration 10 days of hotel quarantine on return to England “but does not include any additional time that would be required for players to regain match fitness.”
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters further explained, “Premier League clubs have always supported their players’ desires to represent their countries – this is a matter of pride for all concerned. However, clubs have reluctantly but rightly come to the conclusion that it would be entirely unreasonable to release players under these new circumstances.
“Quarantine requirements mean that players’ welfare and fitness will be significantly impacted. We understand the challenges that exist in the international match calendar and remain open to workable solutions.”