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Miguel Almiron blocked from playing for Paraguay – Will now be available v Manchester United

3 weeks ago
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Miguel Almiron was set to miss out on being available for Newcastle United against Manchester United on two counts.

The two clubs playing each other on Saturday 11 September in a rare 3pm not on live TV in the UK kick-off.

The first count was due to FIFA extending the September international window for South American countries by two days in order for them to play an extra (third) World Cup qualifier next month, to help catch up on games lost due to covid. Paraguay playing at home on the night of Thursday 9 September, meaning the earliest Miguel Almiron could possibly have got back to the UK / Tyneside was sometime on the actual day (Saturday 11 September) of the Man Utd game.

However, the second and more serious count, would have seen Miguel Almiron miss out on playing Man Utd AND other games due to having to also quarantine when returning to the UK. Paraguay are playing away against Equador as well as two home games, both Equador and Paraguay currently on the red list which equals quarantine.

The Premier League have acted as one though and after having failed to get an exemption granted for players returning to the UK in September having played in a red list country, they have now unanimously decided NOT to release players for international matches in red list countries in September.

The Premier League official announcement (see below) says that almost 60 players will now be blocked from travelling to play in red list countries next month. Whilst Miguel Almiron was / is certain to be one of these, it remains to be seen whether any other Newcastle players are affected.

This is a pretty massive deal, the richest and most powerful domestic league going up against FIFA, by taking the massive step of banning players from playing for their countries.

There has always been conflict / friction between clubs and countries when it comes to club v country, so it will be interesting to see how FIFA reacts to this one.

Premier League Official Announcement:

‘Premier League clubs have today reluctantly but unanimously decided not to release players for international matches played in red-list countries next month.

The clubs’ decision, which is strongly supported by the Premier League, will apply to nearly 60 players from 19 Premier League clubs who are due to travel to 26 red-list countries in the September international window.

This follows FIFA’s current position not to extend its temporary release exception for players required to quarantine on their return from international duty.

Extensive discussions have taken place with both The FA and the Government to find a solution, but due to ongoing public health concerns relating to incoming travellers from red-list countries, no exemption has been granted.

If required to quarantine on return from red list countries, not only would players’ welfare and fitness be significantly impacted, but they would also be unavailable to prepare for and play in two Premier League match rounds, a UEFA club competition matchday and the third round of the EFL Cup.

This period takes into consideration 10 days of hotel quarantine on return to England but does not include any additional time that would be required for players to regain match fitness.

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: “Premier League clubs have always supported their players’ desires to represent their countries – this is a matter of pride for all concerned. However, clubs have reluctantly but rightly come to the conclusion that it would be entirely unreasonable to release players under these new circumstances.

“Quarantine requirements mean that players’ welfare and fitness will be significantly impacted. We understand the challenges that exist in the international match calendar and remain open to workable solutions.”

Clubs also discussed their dissatisfaction with FIFA’s decision to extend CONMEBOL’s international window by two days in September and October from nine to 11 days.

This places additional international obligations on players from that region, to the detriment of their availability to represent their clubs.

FIFA was urged to work with all stakeholders to ensure an agreeable conclusion can be reached on the issue.’

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