Conmebol sends letter to FIFA regarding MLS position
According to The Athletic, Major League Soccer is allowing teams to keep players that have been called for international duty ahead of the October fixtures.
Earlier this week many countries gave their preliminary list ahead of their October international games and there were many players from Major League Soccer that were called up to their national teams. As the lists were made public, according to The Athletic, MLS is refusing to release some of its players for international duty.
MLS is worried about the coronavirus pandemic
The big reason behind MLS allowing its players to stay with their clubs and opt out from their international duty is because of the coronavirus pandemic. The MLS teams are worried about their players getting Covid-19 and as they come back, they have to remain quarantined for 10 days, which will prevent them from playing the final part of the regular season.
Actualización de Major League Soccer sobre pruebas de COVID-19 - 25 de septiembre, 2020 https://t.co/5u97hBEjiV— MLS Communications (@MLS_PR) September 25, 2020
Many teams such as LAFC and Inter Miami have stated their position regarding the situation. On Saturday evening, Los Angeles FC coach Bob Bradley said that the position of the MLS does not reflect the team's values. On the contrary, Bradley said that it is an honour that their players are being called to their respective nationals team and that each club decides what is better for their players.
Conmebol World Cup Qualifiers
Between 8 and 13 October Conmebol will start their World Cup qualifiers for Qatar 2022 and earlier this week South American coaches gave a preliminary list. Since MLS doesn’t want their players to attend their international duties, Conmebol sent a letter to FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino regarding the situation.
“We have received the letters from MLS that they don’t want their players to leave because of the coronavirus pandemic. It is just a health and security protocol because of the pandemic and the travel restrictions in the United States. Also if a player leaves the U.S. and comes back, he will need to remain in quarantine for several days before joining the rest of the team,” read the letter on Friday.
Conmebol saw this as the MLS not caring about such an important event that are the World Cup qualifiers that have already suffered a setback due to the pandemic. “We consider that this act undermines the integrity of the South American Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, putting its normal development and its recognized combativeness at risk. Accordingly, we request immediate intervention of FIFA in order to intimidate the US Soccer and through this, to the MLS the release of all the players requested by our members associations in strict compliance with the provisions of Annex I of the Regulations on the status and transfers of FIFA players,” read Conmebol’s statements.
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