FIFA allow clubs power
Football club’s from around Europe are to be allowed additional power when it comes to deciding whether to release their players for international duty in March regarding those from Portugal and South America.
Due to the ever-increasing fears over the coronavirus pandemic, some players may be held behind by clubs to prevent them from going into areas where Covid-19 variants have emerged.
A statement from FIFA read:
“In the context of the challenges that remain in place for both international and domestic football due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bureau of the FIFA Council has decided to provide additional flexibility regarding the release of players for national team duty and the registration of players with clubs in competitions that remain disrupted by the pandemic.”
Any people returning from what the government has determined a ‘red zone,’ which includes Portugal, South America and parts of South Africa, will need to self isolate for a period of 10 days in a hotel before being released.
Should any players ignore the advice and return to play for their national sides it could cost their clubs significant time without them when they return.
Man Utd could hold Fernandes
This means that Manchester United could choose to prevent their star midfielder Bruno Fernandes from joining up with the Portuguese national side. However, he is not the only player in England which could be prevented from leaving and that a host of Portugal’s top players happen to reside in the Premier League.
Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo would be unlikely to travel with a title challenge in full swing. Wolverhampton Wanderers have plenty of Portuguese talent including Joao Moutinho, Ruben Neves, Daniel Podence, Pedro Neto and Nelson Semedo. Finally, Everton have midfielder Andre Gomes should he be selected.
The South American contingent is much larger. Sergio Aguero and Giovanni Lo Celso are both experiencing fitness issues currently and may not be available anyway. However, Argentina’s likely number 1 keeper Emi Martinez at Aston Villa could be prevented from travelling.
Brazil also have a number of players: Roberto Firmino, Fabinho and Alisson at Liverpool, Ederson and Gabriel Jesus at City and Thiago Silva and Richarlison at Chelsea and Everton respectively.
Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani at Manchester United and Brighton’s new signing Moises Caicedo of Ecuador could also be kept in the UK.
Many decisions still need to be made but the clubs seemingly have much more power this time around.
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This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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