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24th Aug 2021

Man City and Liverpool to prevent players from travelling on international duty

Manchester City are expected to join Liverpool in refusing to release key players for the upcoming international break due to Covid rules

Reuben Pinder

Clubs are digging their heels in

Manchester City and Liverpool are expected to refuse to release key players for international duty in the upcoming international break due to Covid quarantine rules, according to The Telegraph.

The Egyptian FA have already confirmed that Liverpool will not allow Mohamed Salah to travel.

“The Egyptian Football Association has received a letter from Liverpool FC apologising for the inability of its player, Mohamed Salah, to join the national team in its next camp, which includes facing Angola in Cairo and Gabon in Libreville during the first and second rounds of the African continent’s qualifiers for the World Cup,” it said in a statement.

“The English club’s letter referred to the precautionary measures applied in England to tackle the outbreak of the coronavirus around the world, which puts returnees from some countries in compulsory health isolation for a period of 10 days upon their return to England. [Liverpool] also expressed its hope that the Egyptian Federation would understand that it was forced to do so.”

The Telegraph’s report states that Brazil internationals Ederson and Gabriel Jesus will not be allowed to play for their country in October’s World Cup qualifiers as Man City don’t want their players travelling to any countries on the UK’s red list. The same applies to Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, as well as Brazil internationals Fabinho and Alisson.

It also states that more Premier League clubs are expected to join them in refusing to release players to avoid losing key members of their squads while they quarantine for 10 days on return to England.

FIFA previously allowed clubs to keep hold of their players in cases that would have meant they were forced to quarantine, but are expected to be less lenient this time around. The world’s footballing governing body postponed fixtures last season, meaning that double-headers in October’s international break have become triple-headers to mitigate the backlog of fixtures.

It has also been reported that refusal to release players for this break could lead to sanctions from FIFA.

The European Club Association wrote in a letter to its member clubs: “Fifa’s decisions were taken unilaterally and against the explicit objection of ECA and the rest of the stakeholders.

“ECA has made clear that it will not accept that a governing body like Fifa abuses its regulatory function in order to place its commercial interests and those of its member associations above the physical well-being of players and legitimate sporting interests of clubs.”