Premier League clubs have ‘reluctantly’ agreed not to release players for international duty next month for matches that would be played in countries on the UK’s coronavirus ‘red list’.
There have been concerns over mandatory quarantines for players travelling to and from red-list countries during the international break, which could threaten health and safety and have a serious knock-on effect for clubs in terms of training and the resumption of domestic games.
The only way around the travel restrictions to and from countries currently deemed generally unsafe because of the ongoing COVID-19 situation would have been isolation exemptions.
However, a meeting between the Premier League clubs has instead yielded a ‘unanimous’ agreement not to release players who would be affected by red list travel.
A Premier League statement explains: “The clubs' decision, which is strongly supported by the Premier League, will apply to nearly 60 players from 19 Premier League clubs who are due to travel to 26 red-list countries in the September international window.
“This follows 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 both The FA and the 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.”
Countries like Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Mexico, Paraguay, South Africa, Turkey and Uruguay are currently on the red list, which would affect players including Mohamed Salah, Richarlison, Fabinho, Miguel Almiron, Mohamed Salah, Cristian Romero, Edinson Cavani and more.