Lyon will have three key players available for their Europa League match against Rangers on Thursday after the Scottish Government granted them an exemption from quarantine.
The trio of players all visited red list countries in last week’s international break and would normally be subject to a 10-day hotel quarantine on arriving in Scotland, as part of the rules to halt the spread of Covid-19.
Bruno Guimaraes and Lucas Paqueta both travelled to their home nation Brazil, while Tino Kadewere returned to Zimbabwe to play for his national team.
The players were allowed to return to the Lyon squad last week as the rules in France mean elite athletes don’t have to quarantine.
The French club initially believed that all three would miss the fixture in Glasgow, where rules are different, but after requesting that the situation be looked at as an individual case, they have now been granted permission to travel and play in Thursday night’s game.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “After carefully considering the public health risk, we have agreed to allow the three Lyon players to travel to Scotland.
“International travel restrictions remain necessary to limit the importation of the virus and variants of concern. Red list countries pose the highest risk, which is why any exemptions have to be considered very carefully.”
The news comes as a boost for manager Peter Bosz. Guimaraes, who has three full caps for Brazil, was part of his country’s Olympics winning side this summer. Former Milan midfielder Paqueta is a well established international, having played for Brazil 23 times. Paqueta scored ten times in 34 domestic games last season.
Kadewere also hit double figures for Lyon last season, though the forward has only played in two games so far this season.
Thursday’s game at Ibrox is the first in the group stage for both clubs. Lyon are top seeds and favourites to reach the knockout stage, with Sparta Prague and Brondby also competing in Group A.
Rangers will be missing Ianis Hagi for the match after he tested positive for the virus wile on international duty with Romania.