Premier League clubs won’t be obliged to release players to Portuguese or South American national teams for the next international break, in news that could be of great significance to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
As reported by Sky Sports, FIFA have extended their rule about player release until the end of April.
Normally, clubs must release their stars to their national sides if called up and fit to play, but the Covid-19 pandemic has recently prompted the governing body to make their rule more flexible.
Clubs have been able to refuse to send their players including in cases that ‘there is a mandatory quarantine period of five days or more on return to their club’.
Uk rules currently state that anybody arriving back from Portugal, South America and parts of Africa will need to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days, with elite sports stars not exempt from that.
The extension means that Wolves will be able to stop several members of their squad from departing Molineux next month to go to the Portuguese national team.
Rui Patricio, Joao Moutinho, Nelson Semedo, Ruben Neves, Daniel Podence and Pedro Neto are all Portuguese internationals, and could therefore all be kept behind.
The current European and Nations League champions are in action against Azerbaijan at home in March in the first of their World Cup 2022 qualifiers.
Potential Wolves boost
That Wolves will not be obliged to send their players to Portugal duty is potentially great news for Nuno Espirito Santo in the context of keeping his players fresh for a strong finish to the season.
It means there could be a chance for some of his key players to get some much-needed respite if they are feeling jaded.
It’s been a hectic season so far, and Wolves have had plenty of injury cases.
Player fatigue will likely be high come March 24, and one gets the feeling Nuno may look to retain his players if he can.