Premier League stars blocked from playing in red list countries during break

Premier League clubs will not release players for international fixtures which will be played in countries on the UK’s red list.

Brazil, Argentina and Egypt are among the countries which are currently on the UK’s red list, which means a 10-day isolation period at a hotel would be required before players could return to play for their clubs.

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is unable to play for Egypt in their World Cup qualifier against Angola in Cairo on September 2.

Meanwhile, there are eight Premier League players who have been named in Brazil’s latest squad for their World Cup qualifier against Chile and Argentina next month.

Liverpool trio Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino, Manchester City duo Ederson and Gabriel Jesus, Chelsea centre-back Thiago Silva, Manchester United midfielder Fred, Everton forward Richarlison and Leeds United winger Raphinha will all be unable to travel.

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez will also miss out as he is due to represent Argentina.

A statement from the Premier League 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.

‘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.

‘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.

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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