LONDON – Argentine players Emi Martinez and Emi Buendia will be in hotel quarantine for 10 days on their return to England after Aston Villa allowed them to fly to South America for World Cup qualifiers, breaking Sunday of the Premier League collective decision not allowed after red – list countries.
The Spanish league also suffered defeat – for the time being – when they tried to prevent players from participating in the World Cup qualifiers in South America. The Sports Arbitration Court ruled against La Liga’s complaint that a triple matchday would end too close to the resumption of competition next month.
But Britain’s strict travel rules are the bigger problem preventing players from being released for Premier League clubs. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has not yet granted a request from FIFA President Gianni Infantino to exempt players from the mandatory isolation required when returning from countries with high coronavirus cases in order to reduce the risk of new variants returning.
The Villa duo – goalkeeper Emi Martinez and midfielder Emi Buendia – have agreed to only play in Argentina’s first two World Cup qualifiers against Venezuela and Brazil and to skip the game against Bolivia. You still have to miss out on a Premier League game against Chelsea while isolating yourself in a government-selected hotel room without obviously being able to train significantly outside.
“There are no easy solutions as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to adversely affect professional sports,” Villa said in a statement. “After careful consideration, we believe this plan respects long-established drafting rules and balances the importance that top players place on representing their country in important games in the best interests of Aston Villa.”
Tottenham coach Nuno Espirito Santo has been vague about whether his South American players – all of whom are on the red list – will be allowed to leave.
“We have to obey government law,” said Nuno. “We will try to do this, but at the same time we have no help from FIFA, the government or the Premier League in this situation.”
Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso are also on the Argentine squad and Davinson Sanchez is expected to join Colombia.
“We know what it means for all players to play for their national teams,” said Nuno. “They are very proud of that, so we try to anticipate the situation. So we expect not only for the next international break but a few more so we have to be clear. We are trying to deal with this situation. We try to anticipate the damage. We as a club are working on it. “
The organizations representing European clubs and global leagues have stated that FIFA was wrong not to extend the possibility for players to be exempted from their countries due to quarantine requirements imposed by countries, as was previously the case with the Pandemic was allowed last year.
The Spanish league was hoping for the support of CAS.
While the World Football Association said the “decision confirms the legality of FIFA’s decision”, it was not immediately clear whether the CAS ruling focused only on the admissibility of the Spanish league case.
CAS told The Associated Press that “the reasons for the decision are not yet known,” while confirming that it has dismissed “La Liga’s appeal and urgent application for interim measures against FIFA”.
FIFA was unable to provide further clarification immediately.
FIFA extended the international window next month to allow South American teams to play a third World Cup qualifier less than two days before the national leagues resume in Europe.
The Spanish league said: “It will continue the proceedings in various judicial authorities as FIFA’s decision to change the international match calendar overcomes this specific problem; it is a clear declaration of intent, the autonomy of national leagues under abuse rights.”
However, La Liga has offered clubs charter flights for affected players and has asked the Spanish Football Association to postpone matches or adjust kick-off times for matches scheduled immediately after the international break.
“We emphasize that as a result of FIFA’s decision, the affected players will return to their club teams after three games on Friday and many of them will play league games on Saturday or Sunday as they are clearly unable to play on equal terms. ” with their clubs, “announced the Spanish league.