Soccer-FIFA sets conditions for release of players for S.American qualifiers

BERN — FIFA has imposed conditions on the release of players for the South American World Cup qualifiers which are due to get under way next week amid concerns over high coronavirus infection rates, travel difficulties and quarantine rules.

The South American football confederation (CONMEBOL) announced last month that the competition would start in October and that it had FIFA’s approval.

Many of the world’s top players from leading European clubs are involved in the games, including Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Paris St Germain’s Neymar, who have been called up by Argentina and Brazil respectively.

FIFA said on Thursday the usual rules over the release of players would apply but with exceptions.

Soccer’s world ruling body said players must be exempted from any travel or quarantine restrictions, both in the countries where they are due to play matches and in the country where their clubs are based.

If there was a quarantine period of five days or more on arrival in any of those countries, then clubs would not be obliged to release them.

“FIFA together with the confederations and member associations will continue to monitor the situation regarding the travel and quarantine policies of the relevant authorities in relation to the upcoming international matches,” FIFA said.

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