Premier League clubs have announced that they will not release players for international matches due to be played in Covid red list countries next month.
Quarantine exemptions are not in place for players returning to the UK from countries considered high-risk by the British government, meaning they would have to undergo a mandatory ten-day quarantine period, ruling affected players out of several club fixtures on the other side of the international break.
A statement from the Premier League read: “Premier League clubs have today reluctantly but unanimously decided not to release players for international matches played in red-list countries next month.
“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.”
Among the affected countries will be Egypt - who had already confirmed that Liverpool would not allow Mo Salah to link up with his teammates in Cairo - and Brazil. The Copa America runners-up had nine Premier League players in their most recent squad and are due to play World Cup qualifiers against Argentina, Peru and Chile next month, with all four South American nations currently on the UK red list.
The statement continued: “If required to quarantine on return from red list countries, not only would players’ welfare and fitness be significantly impacted, 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.
“This period takes 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.”