SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster has given his backing to any SPFL club who opts to withdraw players from international duty if they are headed to a red zone country – with Rangers duo Joe Aribo and Leon Balogun among those potentially affected.
Players who travel to red zone countries are having to quarantine for 10 days on their return and with the Rangers duo set to be called up for Nigeria’s World Cup qualifier away to red-listed Cape Verde Islands, that would see them miss Premiership clashes with St. Johnstone and Motherwell.
Doncaster thinks it would be “unreasonable” to expect players to travel when it would rule them out of club games on their return with the European Club Association and Premier League also backing their members.
“It would be unfair and unreasonable for SPFL clubs to have to release players under these circumstances and we wholeheartedly support any clubs who decline,” said Doncaster [BBC].
Clubs like Liverpool have withdrawn players such as Mo Salah from international duty next month so it is refreshing to see the SPFL actually backing clubs for a change.
Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos was also set to have to isolate had he gone on international duty but he’s been left out of the Colombia squad for their upcoming games.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has written to British Prime Minister Boris Johnston asking for players to be exempted from the UK’s quarantine rules as he called for clubs to show “solidarity” and put their players at greater risk of contracting Covid.