French league adds critical voice to concern over FIFA player release demands

LFP France

August 27 – The French league has become the latest major European body to voice concern over FIFA’s World Cup qualifying plans in September. The Professional Football League (LFP) however has not expressly backed clubs who refuse to release players for the international window.

“The LFP regrets that FIFA has failed to take into account the interests of national leagues nor those of the clubs that employ the players,” the French league said.

The LFP is upset over the world federation’s plans in South America, where a triple header has been scheduled without an extension of the international window. 

“This unilateral decision taken in the midst of a pandemic with strong constraints related to the movement of players and the resulting quarantine rules when they return to selection poses major problems for the availability of club staff and the balance of the championships,” read the LFP statement. 

Ligue 1 superstars Neymar and Lionel Messi, both PSG players, could be affected when they return to France from national team duty with Brazil and Argentina respectively. 

“The LFP is also working alongside the clubs to support them in their dealings with the French authorities in order to ensure the return of the players in the best possible conditions.”

 The Premier League said that its clubs won’t release players to red-zone countries and La Liga has said it will back clubs choosing not to release players. FIFA president Gianni Infantino however demanded that the leagues and national federations “show solidarity” with international competitions.

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