Football

EPL players set for quarantine exemptions

English Premier League players travelling to red-list countries for internationals could be given quarantine exemptions in future, according to reports.

EPL clubs were updated on the progress of talks between top-flight officials, the British government and Fifa at a shareholders' meeting in London on Wednesday.

It remains possible that an agreement could be reached to avoid players having to quarantine for 10 days on their return.

That could involve strict conditions on players entering Covid-secure bubbles once they join up with their national team, and then returning to a similar set-up at their clubs.

The EPL clubs released a joint statement before this month's international break to say that players would not be released for international duty in red-list countries.

That sparked a row, with the national associations of Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Paraguay initially asking Fifa to impose sanctions on clubs for fielding players who were not released for internationals. But the situation was later resolved with players being allowed to be fielded.

The Brazilians who missed international duty include Liverpool's Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino, Chelsea's Thiago Silva and Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus and Ederson.

Clubs also discussed the domestic calendar for 2022/23, which has the World Cup in Qatar in the middle of it.

A draft schedule includes the season starting on Aug 6 and breaking on Nov 13 for the Nov 21-Dec 18 World Cup.

The EPL would resume on Dec 26 and finish on May 28, 2023, with the FA Cup final scheduled for June 3.

Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow told reporters at the meeting that the winter World Cup was a "crazy" idea, as he was concerned that fans would miss EPL football in the winter for five weeks. - AFP

Football