The English Premier League (EPL) has made it known that they will not allow their player to travel to countries that flagged red zones. The league says its clubs have “reluctantly but unanimously” decided not to release players for matches in red-list countries during September’s international break.
Under the current United Kingdom government rules, players would be forced to miss several games because of the 10-day isolation period required on return to the UK. EPL said: “extensive talks” had taken place with the Football Association and government “to find a solution” but that “no exemption had been granted”.
English Premier League (EPL) is Not Against Players Representing their Country
The league also made it know that it “strongly supported” the move made by top-flight sides, which “will apply to nearly 60 players from 19 clubs who are due to travel to 26 red-list countries”. It was also made known that Premier League clubs have always encouraged their players to represent their countries, but this time is a matter of pride for all concerned. The league chief executive Richard Masters was the person who made this known.
The league also said it is entirely unreasonable to release players under the present covid circumstances. They also said quarantining players means the welfare and fitness of the players is key to them. EPL said, “follows Fifa’s current position not to extend its temporary release exception for players required to quarantine on their return from international duty”.
Also, the governing body of football Fifa recently extended the September and October international windows by two days in South America to enable countries to catch up on World Cup qualifiers that were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
World football’s governing body FIFA said the two-day extension ensured the players take enough rest and prepare for the forthcoming matches.
It means matches can now be played on Thursday, 9 September and Thursday, 14 October, with players involved being released for 11 days. At a meeting of Premier League clubs, they also “discussed their dissatisfaction” with this move, which “places additional international obligations on players from that region, to the detriment of their availability to represent their clubs”.