LaLiga, PL agree not to release some players for internationals

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Dan Burke

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LaLiga has joined the Premier League in deciding not to release players for international fixtures in countries on the United Kingdom’s and Spain’s “red-list” next month.

Almost 60 players from 19 Premier League clubs were due to travel to countries on the red-list (which includes the likes of Brazil and Argentina) for internationals in September and doing so would have required them to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days upon their return to the UK as per the government’s Covid-19 regulations.

And after Fifa opted not to exempt professional players from quarantine, talks between Premier League clubs have been held, and it has been decided that those players will not be released for international duty on this occasion.

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.”

Later on Tuesday, a statement from LaLiga said: “LaLiga will support in all areas the decision of Spanish clubs not to release their international players for the CONMEBOL call and will take appropriate legal action against this decision that affects the integrity of the competition.”

The Egyptian Football Association had already confirmed on Monday that Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah would not be joining up with the national team, while there had also been reports that Liverpool and Manchester City would not be releasing their Brazilian internationals for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

If players had travelled to red-list countries and quarantined for 10 days upon their return, it would have meant missing two Premier League match rounds, a UEFA club competition matchday and the third round of the EFL Cup.