The international break is now upon the world of football for the third time since the start of the 2020/21 campaign. With the coronavirus pandemic dominating the globe, players leaving the protection of their club bubbles to intermix with other players presents risks.
This is having an impact on England’s upcoming fixture with Iceland. Denmark was recently taken off the UK’s travel corridor list meaning anyone arriving from there would need to self-isolate for 14 days. Non-UK citizens are banned from all travel from Denmark entirely.
Iceland are set to travel to Copenhagen to play Denmark before facing England. The tie in London appears legally impossible to take place under current circumstances. Elite sportsmen are not exempt from the ruling.
— LCFC Live (@LiveLCFC) November 9, 2020
Reportedly, the FA are seeking clarification from the Government but a neutral venue could be the only option. This would spark controversy as to how this would impact the integrity of the tournament.
Despite the lack of fans in grounds, whether playing in familiar surroundings gives players an advantage is arguable. However, were England to lose the match at a neutral venue whilst Iceland were able to play all their home games in Reykjavik, whether the competition is ‘fair’ could be disputed.
Whilst the controversy around international fixtures rages on, Steven Gerrard has done Scotland boss Steve Clarke a favour for their matches. With Rangers 4-0 up against Hamilton at half time, the former Liverpool captain removed star man Ryan Jack from the field of play.
“I made the change at half-time just to respect the lads that have got big international games. The game was done at half-time, with all due respect, and I wanted to respect Jacko and the Scotland situation,” said Gerrard.
“That is the reason that I left Davo out too. He is fully fit and could have been involved, but they have got two huge cup finals and I have to respect that.”
Scotland face Serbia in a Euro 2020 play-off and Clarke will be grateful to have his star men fit and ready to play.
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
Football Live streaming: Featured matches on January 25, 2020
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|Wycombe Wanderers vs Tottenham Hotspur FC||33'||1-3||1-0|
|Athletic Bilbao vs Getafe CF||16'||2-1||1-1|
|Sporting Farense vs FC Porto||00'||0-2||0-0|