FIFA president urges Premier League and LaLiga clubs to release players for international break

By Sports Desk August 25, 2021

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has urged the Premier League and La Liga to release its players in a "show of solidarity" for the upcoming international break.

Starting after this weekend's matches, the break will run for two weeks and see the resumption of qualifiers for next year's World Cup in Qatar.

Due to strict rules that would require players to quarantine for 10 days upon their return – and no exemption granted by the government – the Premier League has refused to release nearly 60 players travelling to 26 countries on the United Kingdom's red list.

Countries on that list for travel to and from the UK require arrivals to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days upon their return, regardless of vaccination status.

With the English top flight set to resume on September 11, this would mean returning players could miss up to three games should their club also be involved in European competition.

LaLiga subsequently followed suit by refusing to release 25 players from 13 different clubs for qualifiers to be played in South America.

However, Infantino, who said he has written to UK prime minister Boris Johnson for support, has encouraged both leagues to reconsider their actions and "preserve and protect sporting integrity".

"I am calling on a show of solidarity from every member association, every league, and every club, to do what is both right and fair for the global game," he said.

"Many of the best players in the world compete in leagues in England and Spain, and we believe these countries also share the responsibility to preserve and protect the sporting integrity of competitions around the world.

"I have suggested that an approach similar to that adopted by the UK government for the final stages of the Euro 2020 (hosted at Wembley) be implemented for the upcoming international matches."

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