Fifa has requested that players from the premier league and la Liga be released for world cup qualifiers

By: Aparajita Patel

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has stated that the English Premier League and Spanish La Liga should release players for the next World Cup qualifiers next month in order to “preserve and maintain sports integrity.”

The English and Spanish top-flight leagues indicated on Tuesday that they support clubs declining to make players available for qualifiers in places where they would have to quarantine upon their return, particularly in South America.

The decision affects around 60 Premier League players from 19 clubs who are scheduled to travel to 26 nations on the red list, prompting Infantino to call for a modification of player rules.

Infantino stated, “We have faced global crises together in the past and must continue to do so in the future.”

“The release of players in the future international windows is a top priority.”

Infantino urged “every member association, every league, and every club to demonstrate solidarity and do what is both just and fair for the global game.”

“Many of the top players in the world compete in English and Spanish leagues, and we feel these countries share responsibility for preserving and protecting the integrity of the sport of contests around the world,” he continued.

“On the issue of quarantine restrictions in England for players returning from red-list countries, I wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and requested the necessary support, in particular, to ensure that players do not miss out on the opportunity to represent their countries in FIFA World Cup qualifying matches, which is one of the highest honours for a professional footballer. For future international matches, I propose using a strategy similar to that used by the UK government for the final stages of Euro 2020.

“In the fight against Covid-19, we have shown solidarity and unity. Now, I’m pleading with everyone to ensure that international players be released in time for the forthcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers.”

FIFA’s announcement came just minutes after the English Football League declared that it will adopt the Premier League’s policy on players travelling to countries on the red-list.

“EFL clubs have today taken the collective decision not to release players for international matches next month in countries on the UK Government’s ‘red list,’ according to a statement.

“The EFL fully supports its clubs’ decision and is in agreement with our Premier League colleagues, who are also directly affected by this issue. The strategy was essential as a result of FIFA’s policy change, which now requires clubs to release players to nations on a Governmental red list, where there was previously an exemption.”