Like all seasons, the debates around the overloaded calendar of international players return to the table.
The health crisis linked to Covid-19 accentuates a little more certain tensions between clubs and federations.
On Wednesday, Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp publicly expressed concern about the next international break at the end of March.
“We are going through a period where we cannot please everyone,” recalls the German.
The players are paid by the clubs, which must be given priority.
We are not sure because some selections may change the location of their match.
(…) In any case, everyone agrees on the fact that we will not let the players do a ten-day quarantine in a hotel.
The case of the United Kingdom
With these words, Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool officially announce that they could prevent international players from joining their selection at the end of March.
The Brazilians and the Portuguese Diogo Jota are particularly targeted, because the United Kingdom obliges travelers from these countries to a mandatory quarantine on their return.
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer goes in the same direction when it comes to Bruno Fernandes, his Portuguese international.
“We have not yet taken a position on this issue but it does not make sense to lose a player during ten days of isolation, he said on Wednesday evening.
We are the ones who pay the players… ”
This is a very specific situation in the United Kingdom, which has placed around 30 countries on the “red list”.
When returning from one of these states, which includes Brazil, Argentina or Portugal, all travelers must be isolated for ten days, without exception.
This explains the concern of the Premier League staff.
Especially since a point of settlement, established by Fifa, allows them to refuse the departure of their players from the moment when a quarantine of more than five days applies to their arrival in selection or their return to the club.
This Fifa amendment was clarified in early February and runs until the end of April.
Legally speaking, English clubs therefore have the right to retain the players concerned without them risking a subsequent sanction.
No problem for the Premier League Blues
What about the French internationals playing in England?
No worries for the French Federation and the staff of Didier Deschamps at this stage.
France is not on this red list established by the United Kingdom.
Anthony Martial, N'Golo Kanté or Hugo Lloris will not be forced to confine themselves ten days upon their return to Manchester or London after the truce.
Once reunited with the French team, the Blues group benefits from government authorization, as part of a health bubble, to travel even outside the European Union to play its matches.
All without having to respect isolation when returning from Kazakhstan or Bosnia, for example, which are the two destinations on the program in March.
What about PSG?
Questions exist for international players playing in France.
Since January 31, all travelers coming from a country outside the European Union must commit on their honor to a quarantine of seven days upon their arrival on French soil.
How will the truce of the internationals of PSG go?
For Keylor Navas, for example, everything is going well since Costa Rica will play in Austria.
For Neymar with Brazil or Leandro Paredes with Argentina, it's more complicated because the meetings will take place in South America.
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PSG, like the other French clubs concerned, have the possibility of requesting exceptions from the French government.
All cases are studied and, for the most part, accepted when guarantees (sanitary bubble, regular PCR tests) exist.
Discussions are taking place between clubs, federations and governments to ensure the proper functioning of this truce.