The Premier League has revealed that all its clubs have unanimously decided not to release players during September's international break for matches conducted in red-listed countries. Under the current UK rules, players returning would have to miss matches due to the ten-day isolation period.
FIFA had recently extended the September and October international breaks by two days in South America to allow certain countries to catch up on the World Cup qualifiers that were delayed due to the pandemic. This means that key matches could now be played on Thursday, 9 September, and Thursday, 14 October, with players involved being exempted from club competitions for 11 days.
FIFA had stated that the two-day extension allowed "sufficient rest and preparation time between matches'' in a statement released on their website. Premier League clubs expressed their dissatisfaction with FIFA's decision to extend the international break as this added to the detriment of their availability to represent their clubs after undergoing a mandatory isolation period.
"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," said Premier League chief executive Richard Masters.