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Serie A clubs refuse to release players for international duty in red-list countries

Serie A have joined La Liga and the Premier League in announcing that they will support any club who prevents their players from travelling abroad for international duty. 

Those playing in so-called ‘red lists’ countries would be forced to quarantine upon their return to Italy. In the past, elite sports people have been afforded exemptions from this but this does not seem likely for the upcoming international break. 

The Premier League was the first to reveal their stance on the issue and they were quickly followed by La Liga. Serie A have now issued a similar statement, leaving the next month’s World Cup qualifiers in doubt. 

“Unlike FIFA’s decision to not extend exceptions for call-ups to countries where quarantine upon re-entry is mandatory, we find these would create competitive disparity between teams who allow their players to travel to these countries,” it read. 

The situation is developing with FIFA president Gianni Infantino issuing his own statement on Wednesday. In it he implored European governments to exempt footballers from having to quarantine after returning from Covid hotspots. 

“We have faced global problems together in the past and must continue to do so in the future. The release of players in the upcoming international windows is a matter of great urgency and importance. I am grateful for the support and cooperation from many stakeholders in the game during this challenging period,” his statement read.

There is already pressure to get these upcoming World Cup qualifiers played with many continental confederations already behind schedule due to previous cancellations caused by the pandemic. 

Edinson Cavani voiced his annoyance about being denied the chance to link up with Uruguay by Manchester United on Instagram recently. Privately, many other players are also frustrated at being prevented from representing their countries in what are vital fixtures in many cases. 

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