Quarantine gripe prevents players from flying to World Cup qualifiers

 Emi Martinez and Emi Puendia, Argentina's football players, will spend 10 days in quarantine at a hotel upon their return to England. This is despite Aston Villa allowing them to fly to South America to qualify for the World Cup. It was a break from the Premier League's collective refusal to allow travel to red-list countries.

In its attempt to prevent players from qualifying for the World Cup in South America, the Spanish league accepted defeat. La Liga's claim that a triple-header of fixtures would be too close to the resumption of its competition next year was rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The greatest obstacle to Premier League club player release is Britain's strict travel rules. Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has not yet granted Gianni Infantino's request to exempt players form mandatory isolation. This is necessary for those returning from high-coronavirus countries to reduce the risk of new variants being introduced.

Emi Martinez, goalkeeper at Villa, and Emi Buendia, midfielder at Villa have agreed to play only in Argentina's World Cup qualifiers against Brazil and Venezuela. They will skip the match against Bolivia. The duo will miss a Premier League match against Chelsea and remain in a hotel room that the government has chosen. They have no access to outside exercise.

Villa stated in a statement that "there are no easy solutions, as the COVID-19 epidemic continues to adversely affect professional sport."

"After careful consideration, this plan is in accordance with long-established call-up rules. It also balances the importance that top players place on representing their country in important matches with Aston Villa's best interests."

Nuno Espirito Sante, Tottenham manager, was less clear about whether players from South America -- all of which are on the red-list -- would be allowed to travel.

Nuno stated, "We must obey the government law."

"We will do our best, but we don't have any help from FIFA, government, or Premier League."

Cristian Romero, Giovani Lo Celso, and Davinson Sanchez are both in Argentina's squad.

Nuno stated, "We know what it means to all the players to play in their national teams."

It's something they are very proud of. So what we're trying to do is predict the eventualities. We need to be clear about what we are expecting, not just for the next international break but also for any future ones. We're trying to manage that situation. We are trying to prevent the damage. As a club, it is our goal to do that."

European clubs and international leagues have stated that FIFA was wrong to not allow players to be exempted from being called up in their home countries on the basis of quarantine requirements. This was also allowed during the pandemic last year.

The Spanish League hoped for the support of CAS.

The world football's governing body stated that the "decision confirms FIFA's legality", but it wasn't immediately clear if the CAS ruling only addressed the admissibility case being brought by the Spanish league.

CAS stated to The Associated Press, "The reasons for the decision were not yet known," while confirming that it rejected La Liga's "appeal" and "urgent request for provisional steps against FIFA."

FIFA could not provide any further information immediately.

FIFA has extended the international window to allow South American teams play a third World Cup qualifier in less than two days, before European domestic leagues resume in Europe.

According to the Spanish league, "it will continue with proceedings in different judicial bodies since FIFA’s decision on the alteration international match calendar transcends that specific problem; it clear declares intent to infringe upon the autonomy of domestic leagues in an abuse of right."

La Liga offered charter flights to affected players, and asked that the Spanish football federation postpone fixtures or adjust kickoff times for games immediately following the international break.

The Spanish league stated in a statement that "we emphasize that, FIFA's decision has caused the affected players to rejoin their club teams after having played three matches. Many of them will also play league matches Saturday or Sunday, clearly not being able to compete under equal terms with their clubs."