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16th Jul 2022

Gareth Southgate could axe unvaccinated players from World Cup squad

Callum Boyle

Unvaccinated players will have to quarantine at the World Cup

Gareth Southgate is considering leaving unvaccinated players out of his England squad for the World Cup due to the added complications it will bring.

Organisers at the tournament have confirmed that any players who have yet to receive the vaccine will be forced to self-isolate for five days upon arrival.

England’s first World Cup game is against Iran on November 21 – six days after the Three Lions are due to arrive – meaning those who have quarantined will have barely trained with the squad.

The Daily Mail has reported that several of the players who are expected to feature in Southgate’s 26-man squad this winter are unvaccinated, and the England boss is contemplating leaving them out of his squad entirely, or playing their first game with a smaller selection pool to choose from.

Several other nations are also likely to experience similar difficulties and FIFA are reportedly trying to convince Qatar to relax their rules ahead of the tournament.

Gareth Southgate World Cup

Premier League clubs are being affected left, right and centre

It comes after Chelsea and Crystal Palace were forced to leave several of their first-team players out of their pre-season tour squads as they did not “meet the entry requirements” for their destinations.

N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have been left out of Thomas Tuchel’s squad while the likes of Wilfred Zaha, Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise haven’t travelled with Palace to Singapore and Australia.

Manchester City have also left Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden and John Stones out of their tour of the USA, but the club haven’t confirmed the official reason.

The three in question will instead fly with City’s Under-23s squad around Europe to continue their pre-season training programmes.

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