EPL clubs won't release players to play in Covid red-list countries


London, Aug 25 : The 20 clubs from the top flight of English football won't allow their players to play international matches in Covid-19 red-list countries next month, announced the Premier League. Nearly 60 players from 19 Premier League clubs are due to travel to 26 red-list countries in September for international matches, but all the clubs have unanimously decided not to release those players and the clubs' decision "is strongly supported by the Premier League." "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," read the statement released by the Premier League late on Tuesday. Under the current rules in the UK, all travellers from red-list countries such as Brazil and Argentina are required 10 days of hotel quarantine which means that the players would have missed a few matches if they returned from international duties, Xinhua reports. The decision means that Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus and goalkeeper Ederson, as well as their compatriots Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino from Liverpool and Leeds United's Raphinha, will not be able to represent Brazil to play a home match against Argentina in the World Cup qualifiers next month. "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," said Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters. "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." /IANS


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