The first international break of the season is coming up after next weekend, and given that we’re still dealing with COVID-19 and its various variants, pandemic travel rules still apply. In fact, the UK have 26 countries on their “red-list” at the moment, travel to any of which requires a ten-day quarantine upon return.
Given that neither FIFA, the FA, nor the UK government are willing to relent on those requirements or agree to exemptions, Premier League clubs have “reluctantly and unanimously decided not to release players for international matches player in red-list countries” — though I’d question just how truly reluctant any of those teams may be. Rather chuffed, more like it, I’d say.
The Premier League’s statement says this impacts “nearly 60 players” from 19 of the 20 clubs, including Chelsea, were Thiago Silva will thus be prevented from joining up with Brazil (who will be greatly affected with up to 9 of their usual players missing).
It’s unclear if others on Chelsea will be impacted: for example, Edouard Mendy’s Senegal are due to play their second game of the break against Congo DR. Senegal’s only on the amber list (no quarantine if vaccinated), but Congo’s on the red, so Mendy could in theory still play the first game, then head back to England.
But really, just get rid of international football, exhibit No. 245,976.