Ralph Hasenhuttl: Southampton boss labels international trips 'nonsense' during pandemic

Ralph Hasenhuttl concerned about Southampton players making long journeys for international fixtures during break; on-loan Liverpool forward Takumi Minamino set to play for Japan against South Korea; striker Che Adams has been named in Scotland's squad for their World Cup qualifiers

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Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl says the FA Cup is the priority for his team

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl feels it is "nonsense" for players such as Japan forward Takumi Minamino to be flying across the globe for international fixtures during a pandemic.

Minamino, on loan from Liverpool, is set to join up with several other Europe-based players for next week's friendly against South Korea in Yokohama.

Saints will also have several other members of the first-team squad heading away following Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final against Bournemouth.

Striker Che Adams has been handed a first call-up by Scotland for their World Cup qualifiers, with midfielder Stuart Armstrong again part of Steve Clarke's squad.

Under current coronavirus guidelines, arrivals from red-list travel-ban countries are subject to 10 days' hotel confinement.

However, due to the special circumstances for elite athletes, FIFA has given clubs travel dispensation to prevent players who may be affected by the regulations from joining up with their countries.

Hasenhuttl accepts there is little Southampton can do but wait and hope the players return fit for duty from wherever they have been when Premier League action resumes again upon the visit of Burnley on Easter Sunday.

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"I expect that (Minamino's trip) to happen, although there are some big journeys and long travels there, which I do not like to see, but it is how it is, and a few more players are going also," the Southampton boss said.

"To be honest, when you see how difficult travelling is at the moment, what loops they have to jump through when coming back to be available for us again, this is for me a little bit nonsense.

"We are not allowed to leave the country for any reason, and then they are flying all over the world in such a pandemic, I cannot see a reason why you should do this.

"But it is like it is, and we have to accept it. I can only accept it if then the players are after available for us and our game, this is hopefully the fact."

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