French clubs to refuse to release players for internationals outside EU

18 March 2021 - 11:17 By Reuters
Idrissa Gueye of Paris Saint-Germain in action with Pedri of FC Barcelona in action during 16 match between Paris Saint-Germain and FC Barcelona at Parc des Princes on March 10, 2021 in Paris, France.
Idrissa Gueye of Paris Saint-Germain in action with Pedri of FC Barcelona in action during 16 match between Paris Saint-Germain and FC Barcelona at Parc des Princes on March 10, 2021 in Paris, France.
Image: Xavier Laine/Getty Images

French Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs will not release foreign players called up for their national sides if the teams are playing outside the European Union (EU) due to the strict COVID-19 quarantine rules, the French professional league (LFP) said on Wednesday.

The two-week international break begins after the weekend's domestic games when European national teams are set to kick off their World Cup qualifying campaigns, with most teams playing three matches.

FIFA said last month that clubs are not expected to release players if there is a "mandatory period of quarantine or self-isolation of at least five days upon arrival" in the country where the club is located or the country where the match is taking place.

"In this context, the clubs will not make available for selection the foreign players summoned for matches outside the EU / EEA zone during the next international period in March," the LFP said in a statement.

Clubs are also not expected to release players if there are travel restrictions between the two countries or if specific exemptions have not been granted to players by the local authorities. 

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