FIFA president Gianni Infantino has urged the Premier League and LaLiga to release players for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers despite some of the games taking place in countries on the UK's red-list.
Clubs from both leagues have confirmed they will not be releasing players who need to travel to countries where they would need to mandatorily quarantine upon return to England or Spain. The decision applies to nearly 60 players from 19 top-flight clubs who are due to travel to 26 red-list countries, and Argentina and Brazil are set to be hit hard the most.
“We have faced global problems together in the past and must continue to do so in the future. The release of players in the upcoming international windows is a matter of great urgency and importance," Infantino said in a statement published on FIFA's official website.
"I am grateful for the support and cooperation from many stakeholders in the game during this challenging period. I am calling on a show of solidarity from every member association, every league and every club to do what is both right and fair for the global game.
"Many of the best players in the world compete in leagues in England and Spain, and we believe these countries also share the responsibility to preserve and protect the sporting integrity of competitions around the world.
"On the issue of quarantine restrictions in England, for players returning from red-list countries, I have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and appealed for the necessary support, in particular, so players are not deprived of the opportunity of representing their countries in qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup.
"I have suggested that an approach similar to that adopted by the UK government for the final stages of the Euro 2020 be implemented for the upcoming international matches. Together we have shown solidarity and unity in the fight against Covid-19. Now, I am urging everyone to ensure the release of international players for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers.”
Infantino's plea has also been echoed by the Confederation of African Football, one of the regions hardest-hit by the leagues' resolution along with South America.