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COVID-19: Super Eagles to play Cape Verde without EPL stars

COVID-19: Super Eagles to play Cape Verde without EPL stars
August 24
21:29 2021

The Super Eagles will play their World Cup qualification away match against Cape Verde without any of its English Premier League (EPL) stars.

The decision was announced in a statement on Tuesday after the premier league clubs unanimously decided not to release players for international matches in places on the UK’s red-list next month.

Cape Verde is one of the countries listed on the UK’s COVID-19 “red list”, which means Nigeria will be without Kelechi Iheanacho, Wilfred Ndidi, William Troost Ekong, Alex Iwobi, among other of their EPL stars.

“Premier League clubs have today reluctantly but unanimously decided not to release players for international matches played in red-list countries next month,” the statement read.

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“The clubs’ decision, which is strongly supported by the Premier League, will apply to nearly 60 players from 19 Premier League clubs who are due to travel to 26 red-list countries in the September international window.

“This follows FIFA’s current position not to extend its temporary release exception for players required to quarantine on their return from international duty.

“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 matchday and the third round of the EFL Cup.

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“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.”

Super Eagles are billed to begin the postponed World Cup qualification campaign on September 3 when they host Liberia before flying to Cape Verde for the second game of the group four days later.

It remains to be seen if the EPL players will be available for the clash against Liberia.

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