FIFA is Okay with Premier League policy to allow fully vaccinated players to represent their countries

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The world football governing body, FIFA has no problem with the arrangement of the Premier League to allow fully vaccinated players to represent their countries during the October international break.

The new Premier League arrangement means that players from the countries in the United Kingdom’s Covid-19 red list countries can travel to their countries and return after the break without being subjected to UK’s quarantine regulation.

The regulation stipulates that arrivals from the countries that are on UK’s red list would have to quarantine at a designated facility for at least 10 days.

Due to this regulation, Premier League clubs agreed ahead of the September FIFA international break not to allow players from the countries in UK’s red list to join up with their national teams.

This almost resulted in a multi-facet crisis involving the Premier League clubs, the countries football association, and FIFA.

Even Argentina that enjoyed the privilege of having their Premier League players released by Premier League clubs suffered from Brazil’s inability to have access to their UK-based players during the break.

Recall that Brazil vs Argentina FIFA World Cup qualification match had to be abandoned in September due to the presence of four Argentine players from the Premier League – Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa and Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero of Tottenham.

The health authority in Brazil claimed that the players ought to have observed a period of quarantine before they would be allowed to gain entry into the stadium. Hence, the FIFA World Cup qualification match was halted few minutes after kick-off.

FIFA is Okay with Premier League policy to allow fully vaccinated players to represent their countries
A scene after health workers forced Brazil vs Argentina FIFA World Cup qualifiers to be abandoned in September 2021.

Many pundits believed that the Brazilian health authority took such an action because Brazil could not get players from Premier League clubs ahead of the game due to the UK’s coronavirus regulations.

Based on the new policy of the Premier League ahead of the October break, Brazil and other countries in the UK’s red list will have their UK-based players available for the international break without any limitation as far as the players are fully vaccinated.

In reaction to the Premier League policy, FIFA said the exemption of the fully vaccinated players from the UK’s coronavirus regulation is a welcome solution to the controversy that the regulation caused last month.

FIFA’s statement reads: “FIFA welcomes the UK government’s decision to allow fully vaccinated players the opportunity to represent their countries in the upcoming qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup and return from a red-list country to bespoke quarantine conditions.

“We have worked closely with the UK government, Football Association, and Premier League to find a reasonable solution, in the interests of everyone, and we believe this is a much more desirable solution to the situation that players faced in September.

“FIFA believes this is a positive step in the right direction and appreciates the support and cooperation from all stakeholders in the game during a challenging period.”

Most footballers across Europe have started reuniting with their national teams for the FIFA World Cup qualification matches in October. Most of the countries will be in action between October 8 and October 15, 2021.

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