PSG

Neymar: PSG face Lille issue over international fixtures

European Union covid-19 restrictions require non-EU arrivals to quarantine for seven days with PSG facing leaders Lille on 4 April after the FIFA break.

Neymar: PSG face Lille issue over international fixtures
STEPHANE MAHE REUTERS

PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino said earlier this week that Neymar’s recovery from injury is going well and the Ligue 1 champions are increasingly optimistic that the Brazilian superstar will be available for his side when Barcelona and Leo Messi arrive at the Parc des Princes next week looking to overturn a 4-1 deficit from the opening leg of the Champions League last 16 tie between the clubs.

However, PSG are now concerned that other factors may hamper the club’s planning as Pochettino seeks to mastermind his way through the field in Europe and chase down Lille at the top of Ligue 1. The upcoming CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers at the end of the month will involved a number of PSG’s squad including Neymar, who has always been eager to join up with the Canarinha whatever the fixture. On this occasion, Brazil face Colombia and Argentina in qualification games for the 2022 tournament. Brazil currently top the standings, two points ahead of Argentina.

The issue lies in rules regarding coronavirus quarantine procedures for people leaving the EU. As of 31 January, people arriving from countries outside the EU will be obliged to quarantine for seven days upon returning to the bloc.

Neymar, Navas, Di María in World Cup conundrum

While that will not impact on the Barcelona game on 10 March, PSG could lose the likes of Neymar, Marquinhos, Ángel di María, Keylor Navas and Leandro Paredes after the international break when they face Lille on 4 April in a top-of-the-table clash.

CONMEBOL is currently considering whether to postpone the March fixtures given that many players will choose not to travel with a decision to be taken next Monday. Premier League coaches including Jürgen Klopp and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have already intimated that they will block players from representing their countries, including those from Portugal, which is also on a travel black list.