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."

Related items

  • Newcastle reveal third kit featuring similar colour scheme to Saudi Arabia's national team Newcastle reveal third kit featuring similar colour scheme to Saudi Arabia's national team

    Newcastle United have launched their third kit for the 2022-23 season, with the strip bearing a significant resemblance to that worn by Saudi Arabia's national team.

    The Magpies' alternate kit uses a base colour of white but then has green trim, with the neckline, badges and main sponsor all appearing in the secondary colour.

    Saudi Arabia's national team wear a home kit comprising very similar characteristics.

    The club were purchased last October by a consortium that included Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), which became the majority shareholder.

    The Premier League received "assurances" there was no Saudi-state involvement in Newcastle, even though the country's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman – also known as 'MBS' – is the PIF's chairman.

    Saudi Arabia's human rights record led to many urging authorities to block the purchase, with it seen by critics as a classic case of "sportswashing", but the deal went through regardless.

    Images of the new kit were leaked in May and saw Newcastle attract significant criticism, bringing about fresh questions about the detachment of Newcastle and the Saudi state.

    However, the criticism and backlash seemingly did not put the club off releasing the strip anyway and Newcastle's official statement features no reference to the controversial likeness.

    It is not the first time Newcastle have worn green, having done so as recently as 2019-20. It also featured on their third jersey in 2014-15.

  • Rumour Has It: Real Madrid eye Bellingham as final piece of midfield puzzle Rumour Has It: Real Madrid eye Bellingham as final piece of midfield puzzle

    Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro might make a seemingly eternal midfield composition, but Real Madrid still need to prepare for life after them.

    Following the signings of Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni over the past two off-season transfer windows, Los Blancos will look for a third.

    Reports suggest that what they are looking for is penalty area threat, and the intent is not necessarily to replace the attributes of the three veterans. All signs point to Germany, and Borussia Dortmund's England international Jude Bellingham.

     

    TOP STORY – REAL MADRID EYE BELLINGHAM AS FINAL PIECE OF MIDFIELD PUZZLE

    Real Madrid will look to sign Bellingham in the 2023 off-season transfer window, according to Diario AS.

    According to reports, Bellingham does not have a release clause in his deal at Dortmund and with his contract running to 2025, with the German club seeking a sale in excess of €100million.

    Meanwhile, Real Madrid will not look to be the only suitors, with Chelsea and Liverpool also interested.

    ROUND-UP

    - Having already opened talks over Raheem Sterling, the Telegraph reports Chelsea are also looking to sign Manchester City's Nathan Ake.

    - Meanwhile, Milan are considering a move for Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech, per Calciomercato.

    Tottenham want to sign Everton duo Richarlison and Anthony Gordon, according to Sky Sports.

    - Christophe Galtier is close to being named as PSG's new boss, with Mauricio Pochettino on the way out, ESPN reports.

  • 'Frenkie is not just any player' - Kluivert hopes Barcelona retain De Jong 'Frenkie is not just any player' - Kluivert hopes Barcelona retain De Jong

    Patrick Kluivert hopes Barcelona will retain his compatriot Frenkie de Jong, amid reported interest from Manchester United.

    Despite his own reported intentions to stay in LaLiga, De Jong has been linked to a reunion with Erik ten Hag - his former boss at Ajax – with Barcelona attempting to break even on an €85million package.

    The 25-year-old has struggled to find a role that best suits him since arriving at Camp Nou in 2019, with Sergio Busquets still starting as Barcelona's deepest midfielder.

    Kluivert believes De Jong would flourish in Busquets' role but it would be hard to supplant the veteran, but despite this and Barcelona's recent financial troubles, they should try to keep him.

    "I hope that they will keep him," Kluivert told Cadena Ser. "If they sell him it is clear that the club would receive a lot of money, but it is a long season and Frenkie is not just any player. I wouldn't sell him.

    "Busquets is there, who has had an impressive year and it is difficult to remove him but Frenkie can play in various positions. For me, the best is the 6, but Busi's there."

    The 45-year-old scored 91 times in 192 LaLiga appearances for Barcelona, while he remains an ambassador for the club and his son Shane plays in the youth setup.

    Kluivert added that with the likes of Ansu Fati, Pedri and Gavi, Barcelona's future can be bright under Xavi, who he believes needs time after replacing Ronald Koeman during last season.

    "They are fantastic, I know them very well, they have grown up in the club and they know the values," he said. "Ansu is a pity, for injuries this year but he scores important goals for the club. If he is at 100 per cent we are going to enjoy him at Barça. Pedri has not grown in the club but he is a player of another level.

    "Xavi, he is the ideal, but you have to give him a little time. Entering how he has entered in a difficult situation, he did very well.

    "I don't know if they were fair to Koeman, but they are situations that happen, and I don't know everything that happened, I can't comment. I didn't speak to Koeman when he came out."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.