Three Brighton stars affected as Premier League block international players to red list countries

Premier League clubs will not release players for international matches played next month in countries on the UK Government’s red list

Moises Caicedo is one of the Brighton players impacted by the Premier League's stance
Moises Caicedo is one of the Brighton players impacted by the Premier League's stance

The Premier League said in a statement that the decision by its clubs, reached “reluctantly but unanimously”, was one it “strongly supported” and that it applied to nearly 60 players from 19 clubs who are due to travel to 26 red-list countries.

The statement added: “This follows FIFA’s current position not to extend its temporary release exception for players required to quarantine on their return from international duty.

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“Extensive discussions have taken place with both the FA and the Government to find a solution, but due to ongoing public health concerns relating to incoming travellers from red-list countries, no exemption has been granted.

“If required to quarantine on return from red-list countries, not only would players’ welfare and fitness be significantly impacted, but they would also be unavailable to prepare for and play in two Premier League match rounds, a UEFA club competition matchday and the third round of the EFL Cup.

“This period takes into consideration 10 days of hotel quarantine on return to England but does not include any additional time that would be required for players to regain match fitness.”

When is the next international break?

International breaks are scheduled well ahead of time, so that national teams and domestic leagues can plan for many top players to move around the world.

They will travel, for example, to take place in FIFA World Cup qualifying, the UEFA European Championships, the Africa Cup of Nations, the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

International breaks for this season are scheduled for the weekends of: September 4, 2021, October 9, 2021, November 13, 2021 and March 26, 2022.

Which Brighton players are affected?

This is likely to affect Zambia international Enock Mwepu and Ecuador's Moises Caicedo. South Africa's Percy Tau will also be impacted but the striker is on a verge of completing his move to Al Ahly

Alexis Mac Mac Allister of Argentian and Steven Alzate of Colombia would have been impacted but they were not selected for their countries on this occasion.

What have the Premier League said?

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “Premier League clubs have always supported their players’ desires to represent their countries – this is a matter of pride for all concerned.

“However, clubs have reluctantly but rightly come to the conclusion that it would be entirely unreasonable to release players under these new circumstances.

“Quarantine requirements mean that players’ welfare and fitness will be significantly impacted.

“We understand the challenges that exist in the international match calendar and remain open to workable solutions.”