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Covid-19 restrictions may stop players from honouring international duties

Premier League clubs may feel reluctant to release their players for international duties due to FIFA Covid-19 restrictions.

Many players plying their trade in England may be forced to stay away from their respective homes, especially those from Portuguese or South American countries.

The players may not have the opportunity to represent their national teams in the March international break.

Clubs are normally required to release players for international duty.

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However, governing body Fifa has extended an exemption rule introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It allows clubs to prevent players from leaving in certain situations, such as if there is a mandatory quarantine of five days or more on their return.

Anyone returning from one of the UK government’s ‘red list’ countries – including Portugal, all of South America, and parts of southern Africa – is required to quarantine for 10 days.

Portugal stars such as Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes and Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva, and several Brazil players including City pair Ederson and Gabriel Jesus, Chelsea’s Thiago Silva, Everton’s Richarlison and Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino, are among those who could be affected.

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