Premier League Clubs Won’t Release Players For International Games In Red-List Countries

The Premier League on Tuesday announced its clubs will not release players for international matches played in red-list countries next month.

Amid frustration that players who travelled to red-list countries would have to follow UK coronavirus quarantine regulations ruling them out of several of their club’s matches, the league has revealed a blanket ban for the September fixtures.

The Egyptian Football Association had said on Monday Liverpool would not release Mohamed Salah for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Angola and Gabon due to the quarantine rules.

It was also reported that Liverpool would refuse to release Fabinho, Roberto Firmino and Alisson Becker for Brazil’s three upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Both Egypt and Brazil are on the UK Government’s red list, with “mandatory isolation for 10 days” for travellers returning from those countries.

With tension mounting over the club versus country issue, the Premier League took matters into their own hands.

Like the Liverpool trio, Manchester City stars Ederson and Gabriel Jesus will now not be allowed to play for Brazil.

Leeds’ Raphinha, Fred of Manchester United, Everton striker Richarlison and Chelsea’s Thiago Silva were also among the Brazil players affected.

Argentina is on the red-list so Tottenham’s Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso, as well as Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia, will be unable to travel.

Newcastle’s Miguel Almiron would have been forced into quarantine if he had played with Paraguay.

“Premier League clubs have today reluctantly but unanimously decided not to release players for international matches played in red-list countries next month,” the Premier League said in a statement on their website.

“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.”

A statement also detailed that a period of quarantine would mean players being “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”.

Fifa also 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.