English Premier League clubs will not release players for international soccer matches played next month in countries on the UK Government's red list.
The Premier League said in a statement that the decision by its clubs, reached "reluctantly but unanimously", was one it "strongly supported" and that it applied to nearly 60 players from 19 clubs who are due to travel to 26 red list countries.
"This follows FIFA's current position not to extend its temporary release exception for players required to quarantine on their return from international duty," the statement added.
FIFA has scrapped the exemption introduced last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic which allowed clubs to refuse to release players for international duty should travel restrictions be imposed or there be a mandatory period of quarantine or self-isolation of at least five days on their return.
The temporary amendment was in place until April 2021.
The British government requires people travelling from red list countries to quarantine for 10 days.
Premier League players would potentially miss two matches if they quarantined on their return.
"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," the Premier League statement said.
"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 match day 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."
The issue of players travelling to red list countries needing to quarantine for 10 days was exacerbated by FIFA's recent decision to extend the September and October international windows in South America by two days to catch up on postponed fixtures.
The Premier League statement said clubs had also "discussed their dissatisfaction" with that decision by the world governing body.
"This places additional international obligations on players from that region, to the detriment of their availability to represent their clubs," the statement said.
"FIFA was urged to work with all stakeholders to ensure an agreeable conclusion can be reached on the issue."
The matter first came to light on Monday when the Egyptian Football Association said Liverpool had refused to allow Mohamed Salah to travel to Africa for World Cup qualifiers.
The Reds also have a trio who play for Brazil, another country on the red list, in Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino.
"Premier League clubs have always supported their players' desires to represent their countries - this is a matter of pride for all concerned," Premier League CEO Richard Masters said of the decision to not release players for games in red list countries.
"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."
Australian Associated Press