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Premier League clubs won't release “Red-list” nation players for international matches

Decision will apply to nearly 60 players from 19 Premier League clubs

FBL-EUR-C3-MAN UTD-REAL SOCIEDAD Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

In a statement issued today by the Premier League, all 20 clubs have today reluctantly but unanimously decided not to release players for international matches played in red-list countries next month. For Manchester United this could include Fred and Edinson Cavani’s omission from international action.

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 travelers from red-list countries, no exemption has been granted.

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 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.

“Quarantine requirements mean that players’ welfare and fitness will be significantly impacted”

Richard Masters, Premier League CEO

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.

Clubs also discussed their dissatisfaction with FIFA’s decision to extend CONMEBOL’s international window by two days in September and October from nine to 11 days.

This places additional international obligations on players from that region, to the detriment of their availability to represent their clubs.

FIFA was urged to work with all stakeholders to ensure an agreeable conclusion can be reached on the issue.