FA to hold urgent talks with the government on Monday over whether England’s clash against Iceland can take place at Wembley due to Covid rules as Premier League clubs prepare to REFUSE Scandinavian travel
- England are due to host Iceland in the Nations League on November 18
- Iceland are scheduled to player Denmark in Copenhagen just three days before
- A ban was imposed on non-UK citizens coming from Denmark on Saturday
- Under the newly-introduced rules, Iceland would be denied entry into England
The Football Association will hold urgent talks with Government officials on Monday morning to ascertain whether England’s clash against Iceland can be played at Wembley amid new Covid laws.
And in a further complication ahead of the forthcoming international fixtures, Premier League clubs are set to refuse to release their players for Scandinavian travel amid tough new restrictions in relation to arrivals from Denmark.
The Premier League have already advised clubs regarding the implications for players who travel to Scandinavia.
The FA must ascertain whether England’s clash against Iceland can be played at Wembley
Iceland are scheduled to player Denmark in Copenhagen just three days before they are due to face Gareth Southgate’s side at Wembley on November 18.
A ban a was imposed on non-UK citizens coming from Denmark in the early hours of Saturday morning amid concerns over a new coronavirus strain that has spread from mink to humans.
UK citizens can return from Denmark – but will have to isolate along with all members of their household for 14 days.
Under the newly-introduced rules, Iceland would be denied entry into England meaning the Nations League clash could not go ahead as planned at Wembley.
Iceland are scheduled to player Denmark in Copenhagen just three days before England
The FA will seek clarification from the Department for Culture Media and Sport this morning to discover whether the Government’s ‘elite sport’ protocols means the clash is exempt from the new regulations.
If it emerges the Iceland team will not be permitted entry into the UK, the FA will seek to re-arrange the game at a neutral venue.
There was hope on Sunday that the Government’s rules regarding elite sport would allow the game to go ahead as normal, with the England camp hoping for a final answer within the next 48 hours.
Southgate was coming to terms with the news that another England fixture could be cancelled due to Covid travel complications on Saturday night.
England have already seen proposed friendlies against New Zealand and Australia fall through due to quarantine regulations.
One solution to ensure the game against Iceland can go ahead would be for Denmark to re-arrange their forthcoming matches to neutral venues.
Gareth Southgate is coming to terms with the news that another fixture could be cancelled
There was hope given the strong Premier League contingent in the Denmark squad that that scenario would to be discounted.
But the Danish Football Federation were making contingency plans for the growing expectation that English top-flight clubs will refuse to release their players on Sunday as they prepared to name replacements.
Tottenham have already confirmed their Danish international Pierre Emile Hojbjerg will miss two of their three internationals amid the tough new regulations.
The Danish football authorities are also expecting Premier League stars Kasper Schmeichel, Jonas Lossl, Andreas Christensen, Jannik Vestergaard, Henrik Dalsgaard and Mathias Jensen to be unavailable for at least part of their forthcoming international triple-header.
In an added complication, Denmark are due to host Sweden in a friendly on November 11.
Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof, Everton’s Robin Olsen and Newcastle’s Emil Krafth are all part of Sweden’s squad meaning they could also have to self-isolate if they travel to Denmark.
FIFA rules issued at the start of the pandemic said clubs would be able to withdraw their players from international duty if there is a risk of coronavirus infection, opening the door to clubs blocking their stars leaving.
The Premier League are understood to have sent a circular round to its clubs in light of the new Government regulations, making clear the implications of Scandinavian travel for players and FIFA’s rules.
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