premier league

England vs Iceland Nations League fixture in doubt due to government imposed Denmark travel ban

The Football Association is seeking clarification over whether England’s Nations League fixture against Iceland can go ahead despite the UK Government’s travel ban on anyone entering the country from Denmark.

The Wembley clash on November 18 has been put at risk following the Government’s new ban on arrivals from Denmark, which includes all elite sportspeople who had previously been exempt from restrictions.

Iceland are due to play England at Wembley later this month

AFP – Getty

Iceland are due to play England at Wembley later this month

Iceland play Denmark in Copenhagen on November 15 ahead of meeting Gareth Southgate’s side and seem set to fall victim to the updated rules.

It is understood the FA is awaiting clarification from the government to see if the new regulations will impact on England’s final Nations League fixture.

UK residents can return from Denmark but must isolate along with all members of their household for 14 days.

However, a number of media outlets report that Albania is being considered as a potential neutral venue to host the fixture.

England and Denmark are level on seven points in Group A2, two points behind leaders Belgium.


 

Southgate’s side head to Belgium on Sunday before tackling pointless Iceland on Wednesday, when Denmark are scheduled for a trip to Belgium.

The rule could have serious implications for Premier League clubs ahead of the international break.

Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, Chelsea centre-back Andreas Christensen, Southampton defender Jannick Vestergaard and Tottenham midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are all part of the Denmark squad due to link up on Monday.

The 14-day self-isolation rule would see them miss crucial Premier League games on their return, but FIFA rules issued at the start of the pandemic allows club to withdraw players from international duty if there is a risk of coronavirus infection.

Swedish players could also be affected by the new UK government restrictions as Denmark play Sweden on Wednesday.

Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof, Newcastle full-back Emile Krafth and Everton goalkeeper Robin Olsen are in the Sweden squad for the Brondby friendly.

Elite competitors had been exempt from any quarantine controls because they were working in a secure environment.

England manager Gareth Southgate explains Mason Greenwood’s continued exclusion and says Jordan Pickford’s place is not being challenged by anyone

But the new Denmark guidelines, which came into force on Saturday morning, prevent that as the Department of Transport said: “Unlike other travel to the UK, there will be no exemptions to this quarantine policy.”

UK transport secretary Grant Shapps wrote on Twitter: “From 4am on November 7, British nationals or residents who are returning to the UK directly or indirectly from Denmark will need to self-isolate with other members of their household until two weeks have passed since they were last in Denmark.

“The @ukhomeoffice is also announcing that from 0400, Saturday November 7, visitors arriving into the UK from Denmark will not be permitted entry into the UK.

“This means all non-British national or resident travellers who have been in or transited through Denmark in the last 14 days will be denied entry by Border Force upon arrival.

“This decision to act quickly follows on from health authorities in Denmark reporting widespread outbreaks of coronavirus in mink farms. Keeping the UK public safe remains our top priority.”


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