Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) chief executive Maheta Molango has written to Boris Johnson to urge him to halve the time some of the Premier League’s biggest stars face in quarantine when they return to the UK from international duty.
According to a report in the Telegraph, Molango has penned a letter countersigned by the players affected in which he asks the Prime Minister to reconsider his refusal to cut the time the internationals will spend away from their families and loved ones from 10 days to five.
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Players called up to play international fixtures in countries on the UK’s coronavirus red list currently need to self-isolate for a week and a half on their return, although a ban on them playing and training during that time, provided they are fully vaccinated, has been lifted.
The letter argues that the players were “obliged” to travel to red-list countries if called up by their countries, due to FIFA rules.
“Each international window can last up to 15 days. This leaves players travelling to red zones to fulfil international commitments in an impossible position," the letter read.
"Under current guidelines, they will be subject to a 10-day quarantine on their return, which will keep them away from their families for up to 25 days. During a congested international calendar, this could result in some players being away from their families and loved ones for over 100 days before the end of 2022.

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"This extended period of separation poses a significant risk to their physical and mental well-being. It is also incompatible with the demands of the domestic game.
“In solidarity and mindful of societal responsibility, we propose a five-day quarantine on returning to the UK from international duty, in line with the precedent set by the Government’s five-day test-to-release scheme and elite sportspersons exemptions.
This will ensure players can continue to play without being away from their families for extended periods when fulfilling their international obligations.”
Molango's letter stressed the importance of footballers' contribution during the ongoing pandemic.
“Footballers are aware they are national role models with a duty to promote responsible behaviour regarding COVID protocol," it continued.
PFA members and the Government have worked together to bring hope, positivity and a sense of normalcy to the nation through live sport.
"From the outset of the global pandemic, players have taken this collective responsibility extremely seriously, complying with extensive and rigorous testing and all Government guidelines at a time of uncertainty and unknown risk.
“During the COVID crisis, the Government recognised that the return of football would help ‘raise national morale’ and declared its desire to see football back ‘as soon as possible’.
"Despite significant reservations from players about safety for themselves and their families, they worked with football’s stakeholders to implement strict measures.
“The players’ commitment to safety culminated in England, both as a host nation and a team, taking centre stage at Euro 2020 throughout this period of global uncertainty.
“PFA members and the Government have worked together to bring hope, positivity and a sense of normalcy to the nation through live sport.”
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