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09th Jul 2022

N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek left out of Chelsea pre-season tour after being denied entry to US

Callum Boyle

The US has a strict entry policy

N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have been left out of Chelsea’s upcoming pre-season tour to the United States because of their covid-19 vaccination status.

The Blues confirmed the news that the pair would not travel with the rest of Thomas Tuchel’s side as they step up their preparations for the new Premier League season.

Entry rules in the US state that only US citizens, or those with an appropriate exemption, can enter the county if they are unvaccinated.

Chelsea will play three games in three separate locations across the country, starting with a fixture against Mexican side Club America in Las Vegas on July 16.

They then travel to North Carolina to face Major League Soccer outfit Charlotte FC before taking on fellow Premier League opposition in New Orleans, where they will play Arsenal on July 23.

N'Golo Kante

Both players missed fixtures last season after testing positive for covid

It also remains impossible to enter the country if you are unvaccinated but have tested positive for covid in the last year. It is unknown if Kante or Loftus-Cheek have only received one vaccination or are totally unvaccinated.

Kante, 31, tested positive ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League fixture against Juventus last September, however Blues boss Tuchel refused to disclose if the France international had been vaccinated or not.

“We don’t like to lose players. But we are not now angry with N’Golo. We are concerned about him, as we are with any injured players who get a kick in a game,” the German said.

Loftus-Cheek meanwhile has tested positive for the virus twice – once at the beginning of last season and a second time in December, 2021 – which ruled him out of a number of games at various points of the season.

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