Jadon Sancho could be BARRED from joining-up with England squad in blow to Gareth Southgate’s World Cup plans… with fellow Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham also a doubt
- Borussia Dortmund can stop Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham joining England
- FIFA have allowed clubs to block players going on national duty amid Covid-19
- England have qualifiers against San Marino, Albania and Poland upcoming
- Gareth Southgate is likely going to be frustrated in his Three Lions plans
Gareth Southgate’s World Cup plans will be disrupted next month if Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham cannot join up with the England squad because of quarantine rules for people travelling from the UK to Germany.
The Borussia Dortmund stars fear missing out on World Cup qualifiers against San Marino, Albania and Poland because Germany imposes strict rules on all travellers entering from this country, because of the mutant strain of Covid-19 which is dominant in the UK.
Travel from the UK to Germany is banned except in exceptional circumstances and when it is allowed there is a necessity to quarantine for 10 days on arrival in Germany. There is currently no exception for elite sportsmen and women, with the rules due be reviewed early next month.
Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham could be ruled-out of England’s upcoming qualifiers
Borussia Dortmund can block the English pair from joining-up with Gareth Southgate’s squad
England have qualifiers against Poland, San Marino and Albania that the pair could miss
Sancho and Bellingham can travel to the UK to meet up with England. But on their return to Germany they would have to quarantine for 10 days under current rules.
In such circumstances, FIFA rules say that clubs can prevent players from reporting for international duty.
Borussia Dortmund would almost certainly insist that Bellingham and Sancho stay in Germany, as they wouldn’t want to lose their services for 10 days in April when the club is fighting to qualify for the Champions League and may have Champions League games to play.
England’s fixtures are planned for the last week in March and even then they will require special permission to travel to Albania, which currently has a ban on travel from the UK, with no exceptions for elite sporting bubbles.
Southgate will want Sancho at the forefront of his World Cup plans and integrated in the squad
It throws into sharp focus the wider issue of the wisdom of pressing ahead with international football next month.
The same circumstances apply to Brazilian, Portuguese, Argentinian and Colombian players in the Premier League. All those countries are on the UK’s red list of travel bans because of fears surrounding the Brazilian mutant strain.
Any UK resident who is returning from those countries has to spend 10 days in hotel quarantine, with currently no exceptions for elite sport.
Clubs are currently unclear how the situations will be resolved, although Pep Guardiola said last week that Manchester City are not currently planning to stop their Portuguese and Brazilian players from representing their countries.
Pep Guardiola is already plotting to bar his Manchester City players from travelling abroad
Brazil have a World Cup qualifier against Argentina due to be played in Recife on March 30. The issue will also apply to Argentinians, such as Erik Lamela, Gio Lo Celso and Emiliano Martinez and Colombians James Rodriguez, Yerry Mina and Davinson Sanchez.
Government sources have indicated that they are willing to listen to clubs’ concerns to see if there is a way to avoid quarantine if there can be guarantees made that players will maintain the discipline of bubbles, though they will still clearly be mixing with compatriots who are resident in their native countries and so exposed to the mutant strain.
But there is no guarantee that any exemption will be agreed in time, with Government sources concerned that there is too much at stake if there is no significant change in the public health situation.
Both Brazil and Argentina FAs are in talks with FIFA but are planning to call up full squads, with additional local players in case of emergencies.
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