Celtic boss Neil Lennon admits he’ll need to fully examine new rules on international call-ups but will look for agreement with national associations before refusing to release players.
Clubs are normally obliged to make their players available for games on the FIFA international calendar, with players banned from playing for at least five days after any game they miss without good reason. The governing body for world football has now altered its rules temporarily to account for travel restrictions to deal with the spread of coronavirus.
For the next round of international games, clubs have the right to withdraw their players if they have fears about their stars having to spend a spell in quarantine as a result.
That applies to a number of players at Scottish clubs. Rangers defender Borna Barisic is expected to be called up to the Croatia squad, Hibs keeper Ofir Marciano is due to go to Israel and Odsonne Edouard will be in the France under 21 squad – all three countries are currently on the restriction list and managers will have to make a decision on whether to allow them to travel.
“It’s something we’ll have to look at over the next couple of days,” Lennon said. “We’ll be advised by our Covid officer here, the relevant associations and obviously the club as well.
“I’m sure there’s some sort of leeway and we can come to some agreement. We only became aware of the regulation from FIFA today so it’s something that we’ll discuss after tomorrow’s game and the one at the weekend.”
Scotland manager Steve Clarke revealed that he decided not to call up Inter Miami’s Lewis Morgan or Sporting Kansas City’s Johnny Russell because it would be “unfair” to force them to quarantine for the Nations League games. However, he didn’t rule out calling on both players for the upcoming Euro 2020 play-offs.
“The quarantine did affect us a little bit this time,” he said. “The two boys in America: Lewis Morgan and Johnny Russell, we could have brought them over but with the quarantine issue it would have been unfair to the clubs and the players to do it.
“That’s not to say I wouldn’t do it next time. If I need the players in the squad I will do it.”