West Ham United star Michail Antonio has ruled himself out of Jamaica's upcoming World Cup qualifiers due to 'logistical and travel difficulties,' and will remain in England over the international break.
The 31-year-old first joined up with the Reggae Boyz in the previous round of international fixtures, making his debut in a 3-0 loss to Panama on September 5. He was also expected to link up with his new teammates in November, for their important World Cup qualifier against the United States on Thursday night.
But Antonio will play no part in Jamaica's impending international fixtures, after he announced that he will not travel to Austin, Texas for the big World Cup qualifier, due to 'logistical and travel difficulties involved at present.'
“I can confirm that, unfortunately, I will not be joining up with the Jamaica national squad for the World Cup qualifying matches this week," Antonio said.
"Myself, West Ham United, and Jamaica have all agreed that, given the logistical and travel difficulties involved at present, it is better for me to remain with the club in London at this time. I remain fully committed to Jamaica and look forward to representing my country in the future.”
Premier League clubs are not keen on the idea of allowing players to travel around the globe for their international duties, given the current state of the coronavirus pandemic and the differing government guidelines.
Travelling outside of the country and meeting up with players from other parts of the world could spread the virus, or should a player travel to a 'red zone', they'd be forced to endure a lengthy quarantine period upon returning to the United Kingdom.
That could lead to players missing key Premier League clashes for their clubs, and so the top-flight sides are trying to reduce that possibility to a minimum.
Antonio has made a great start to the new season with the Hammers, scoring five goals in six matches for David Moyes' side, as well as winning the August Player of the Month award.