European clubs and FIFA with odds over World Cup qualifiers

Premier League and La Liga said they supported clubs that refused to allow players to play in games in South America


REUTERS August 25, 2021

LONDON:

European clubs have accused FIFA, the governing body of world football, of abusing regulatory features over the extended release of players in the World Cup qualifiers in September and October.

Both the Premier League and Spain’s La Liga said they supported clubs that refused to allow players to play in games in South America.

Both Premier League teams will be particularly hit by FIFA’s decision to extend the mandatory release period from 9 days to 11 days in order to be able to host triple headers in South America.

England’s strict quarantine rules have also been a headache, and the Premier League has stated that football players are not tax exempt from the government.

Liverpool had already refused to allow forward Mohamed Salah to travel to Africa for the World Cup qualification with Egypt next month as he was forced to quarantine when he returned to England.

The same steps could affect the Brazilian trio of Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino, Alison Becker and Fabinho, who were convened for next month’s qualifying against Chile, Argentina and Peru.

Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Peru are all on the UK Government’s “Red List” of countries that trigger a 10-day hotel quarantine to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“The Premier League clubs have reluctantly but unanimously decided today not to release players from international matches in Red List countries next month,” the league said in a statement.

Premier League players may miss two games if quarantined upon return.

LA LIGA support

Spain’s La Liga said in a statement that it would support clubs refusing to qualify for South America.

“Currently, we have 25 players from 13 different clubs (affected), and we can increase that number when the Ecuadorian and Venezuelan calls are announced,” he said.

“The Spanish Association understands that the world calendar cannot and should not be changed in this way, especially if there is an alternative solution.”

Affected clubs will be summoned to the meeting within a few days.

With World Cup qualifiers in Africa, Asia, the CONCACAF region and Europe, the club may clash with FIFA.

The European Club Association (ECA) wrote to members in a Q & A document that Reuters saw that FIFA made a one-sided decision “against the explicit opposition of the ECA and other stakeholders.” ..

“The ECA has categorically opposed the FIFA decision and urged FIFA to reassess its position,” he said.

“ECA abuses its regulatory functions by governing bodies such as FIFA in order to prioritize its commercial interests and the interests of its affiliates over the physical well-being of players and the legitimate sporting interests of clubs. Will not accept. “

The ECA said this month that FIFA decided to extend the compulsory release period “totally ignoring the interests of the club” at the request of the South American Federation CONMEBOL.

FIFA is unlikely to change that decision, and the ECA must consider what action to take.

There were no immediate comments from FIFA.

 

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