Premier League: No players to be released for internationals in red-list countries next month

Decision taken so players will not have to quarantine for 10 days on their return to England; Nearly 60 Premier League players were due to travel to red-list countries during international break next month

Mohamed Salah

Premier League clubs have unanimously decided not to release players for international matches in places on the UK's red-list next month.

The decision has been taken so players will not have to quarantine for 10 days on their return to England.

A statement released on Tuesday 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.

Returning to England from 'red-list' countries

The Government states those returning to England from a country on their red list must quarantine for 10 full days in a managed quarantine hotel and take a coronavirus test on or before day two and on or after day eight of quarantining.

"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.

"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.

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"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."

Raphinha (AP)
Image: Leeds forward Raphinha is among the Premier League footballers in the Brazil squad

Argentina, Brazil and Egypt are among the nations currently on the UK Government's red list regarding travel to England.

The Premier League decision means Mohamed Salah would not be able to play in Egypt's World Cup Qualifier in Cairo against Angola on September 2 - and the Egyptian FA had said Liverpool had already informed them Salah will not be available.

Brazil host Argentina in a World Cup Qualifier at the Maracana on September 5, but the Premier League's decision means numerous players will miss that match, and several other big games in South America.

Eight Premier League players were named in the upcoming Brazil squad, with Liverpool trio Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino joined by Ederson and Gabriel Jesus (both Manchester City), Thiago Silva (Chelsea), Fred (Manchester United), Richarlison (Everton) and Raphinha (Leeds United).

Richard Masters
Image: PL chief executive Richard Masters says PL clubs are right not to release players to red list countries

Aston Villa and Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who started in the 1-0 Copa America final win over Brazil last month, will likewise be prevented from playing his nation's qualifiers.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: "Premier League clubs have always supported their players' desires to represent their countries - this is a matter of pride for all concerned.

"However, clubs have reluctantly but rightly come to the conclusion that it would be entirely unreasonable to release players under these new circumstances.

"Quarantine requirements mean that players' welfare and fitness will be significantly impacted.

"We understand the challenges that exist in the international match calendar and remain open to workable solutions."

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