UK-based players, Jordan Ayew, Daniel Amartey and Tarique Fosu will miss Ghana’s upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against Ethiopia and South Africa after Premier League unanimously voted against releasing releasing players for games taking place in red-zone coronavirus countries.
The Black Stars play Ethiopia on Sept 3 before taking on South Africa in Johannesburg on September 6.
The trio will be able to travel to Ghana to play against Ethiopia since Ghana are on United Kingdom’s amber list, however, they won’t join the team’s trip to South Africa who are red-listed.
The decision could also affect Andy Yiadom who plays for Championship side Reading FC.
Meanwhile, Baba Rahman who is based in England is likely to play against South Africa because a move from Chelsea is imminent.
Under current UK government rules, players who visit red-list countries would be forced to miss several games because of the 10-day isolation period required on return to the UK.
The Premier League said “extensive talks” had taken place with the Football Association and government “to find a solution” but that “no exemption had been granted”.
“Premier League clubs have today reluctantly but unanimously decided not to release players for international matches played in red-list countries next month,” the English Premier League said in a statement on Tuesday.
“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.
“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.”
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters further explained the decision to prevent players from travelling through the red-list states to play for their countries during the international break.
“Premier League clubs have always supported their players’ desires to represent their countries – this is a matter of pride for all concerned. However, clubs have reluctantly but rightly come to the conclusion that it would be entirely unreasonable to release players under these new circumstances,” Masters said.
“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.
“Clubs also discussed their dissatisfaction with FIFA’s decision to extend CONMEBOL’s international window by two days in September and October from nine to 11 days.
“This places additional international obligations on players from that region, to the detriment of their availability to represent their clubs.
“FIFA was urged to work with all stakeholders to ensure an agreeable conclusion can be reached on the issue.”
This is not the first time this is happening. In March this year, Andre Ayew Jordan Ayew and Thomas Partey did not play in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa.
Head coach Charles Akonnor in the coming days is expected to invite new players to strengthen his provisional squad for the matches.