The Premier League confirmed on Tuesday that players will not be allowed to travel to countries which are on the UK government red list for international duty in September
England could put its 2030 World Cup bid in jeopardy after Premier League stars were banned from international duty.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has appealed directly to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to allow the 59 affected players to travel to next month’s qualifiers in red list countries.
South American and African players have been left fuming at not being able to join up for crunch World Cup clashes. Manchester United star Edinson Cavani posted a cryptic message on social media questioning the stance while Liverpool pair Sadio Mane and Mo Salah must stay at home.
That will infuriate countries in South America and Africa who ultimately hold 64 votes between them with Britain trying to launch a joint World Cup bid for the tournament in 2030.
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This latest step has put English football on collision course with other nations and could affect their hopes of being the European nation put forward in the bidding process.
FIFA president Infantino wants the British Government to step in but it is understood that Johnson and his Ministers will not intervene as they do not believe they can make football a special case because of the overwhelming health risks.
Infantino wants the Government to give footballers an exemption like Euro2020 and the Copa America in Brazil when they were able to avoid all quarantine rules.
In his statement, Infantino said: “We have faced global problems together in the past and must continue to do so in the future.
“The release of players in the upcoming international windows is a matter of great urgency and importance. I am grateful for the support and cooperation from many stakeholders in the game during this challenging period.
“I am calling on a show of solidarity from every member association, every league, and every club, to do what is both right and fair for the global game. Many of the best players in the world compete in leagues in England and Spain, and we believe these countries also share the responsibility to preserve and protect the sporting integrity of competitions around the world.
“On the issue of quarantine restrictions in England, for players returning from red-list countries, I have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and appealed for the necessary support, in particular, so players are not deprived of the opportunity of representing their countries in qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup, which is one of the ultimate honours for a professional footballer.
“I have suggested that an approach similar to that adopted by the UK government for the final stages of the EURO 2020 be implemented for the upcoming international matches.
“Together we have shown solidarity and unity in the fight against COVID-19. Now, I am urging everyone to ensure the release of international players for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers.”
The Premier League has held talks with FA bosses and sounded out the Government to see if there could be a way round the issue but that looks unlikely now. Meanwhile, La Liga have also said they will support Spanish clubs who block call-ups.