Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has suggested the Premier League champions may stop their players from going on international duty in the coming weeks.
Fixtures for the World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations are due to be played toward the end of March, but there are a few friendlies scheduled too.
Because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, some people re-entering the UK after travelling may be forced to self-isolate for an extended period of time.
This would be a nightmare for Liverpool, with the likes of Fabinho, Diogo Jota and Naby Keita set to travel to countries that would require an isolation period of ten days upon return.
Speaking in his pre-Chelsea press conference earlier this week, Klopp explained how the club must be the priority. “I think all the clubs agree that we cannot just let the boys go and then sort the situation when they come back – our players in a 10-day quarantine in a hotel or whatever,” he said – as quoted by This Is Anfield,
“That’s just not possible. I understand the need of the different FAs but this is a time when you cannot make everybody happy.
“But we have to admit that the players are paid by the clubs, so that means we have to be first priority, that’s how it is.
“With all understanding for the different needs and competitions coming up in the summer, I get it. But you cannot make everyone happy at the same time in this period of our lives.”
It may come across a little ruthless for anyone particularly patriotic, but the Liverpool boss is absolutely spot on.
Especially in the case of near-pointless friendlies, international football probably shouldn’t be sanctioned during a global pandemic anyway.
When it comes to the World Cup or AFCON, it becomes a little more understandable with scheduling issues – these fixtures need to happen eventually – but when players spend 90% of their time in another country, there needs to be priorities with current regulations.