England at risk of FORFEITING Nations League clash with Iceland with neutral venues distancing themselves from hosting the game – while Government travel ban prevents the visitors from playing at Wembley after Denmark trip
- England may have to forfeit this month’s Nations League game against Iceland
- Iceland are due to play Denmark before travelling to Wembley three days later
- UK has brought in strict quarantine rules for those travelling in from Denmark
- This comes after mutation of the virus spread from minks was found last week
- Cluster of UEFA ‘neutral venue hubs’ appear unlikely to be able to host the game
England may have no choice but to forfeit their Nations League clash with Iceland on November 11 amid increasing difficulty at finding a neutral venue to host the game.
A Government ban on people entering the UK from Denmark owing to a new outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has put the match at jeopardy with Iceland playing in Copenhagen on Sunday.
It would mean the FA cannot host Iceland at Wembley three days later and has forced England to try and get the game played elsewhere, otherwise they risk forfeiting it.
England may have to forfeit their Nations League clash with Iceland on November 11
Iceland are due to play Denmark before travelling to Wembley but the UK Government has imposed strict travel restrictions against Denmark
Cyprus, Greece, Hungary and Poland were all named as ‘neutral venue hubs’ by UEFA earlier this year to allow matches in European competitions to played in safe locations.
UEFA announced in August that those nations would make stadiums available on scheduled match dates and their authorities would also offer a travel corridor so games could be played without restrictions.
But, according to The Telegraph, the Cyprus FA has already booked their only available stadium to host a Nations League encounter between Armenia and North Macedonia.
The likelihood of the England-Iceland game being played in one of the other three nations is also slim after a rise in coronavirus cases in those respective countries.
When announcing the ‘neutral venue hubs’, UEFA said that home teams must propose an alternative venue in a neutral country if travel restrictions make it impossible to play in the allotted venue.
But home teams will forfeit matches if they fail to inform UEFA of restrictions, or if restrictions are imposed less than 48 hours before kickoff.
The FA are still waiting to hear whether the Government will ease the travel restrictions
The news comes as the UK imposes strict quarantine rules on Denmark after a Covid outbreak
The FA are still waiting for confirmation from Government over whether the travel ban imposed on Denmark will be relaxed before next Wednesday.
A quarantine exemption has been allowed for elite sportspeople, but that will not be in place for those travelling to Denmark.
Strict quarantine rules were imposed on Denmark on Saturday following a mutation of coronavirus being spread by minks that has caused a worrying outbreak of the virus in the north of the country.
Denmark this week imposed strict measures after warning that a mutation of the virus – which is less sensitive to an attack from Covid-19 antibodies – had jumped from minks to humans and infected 12 people.
Coronavirus has spread from minks to humans in hundreds of cases – but this mutant strain is restricted to just 12 infections. Scientists fear this small number could the beginning of ‘a new pandemic starting again, this time from Denmark’.
Denmark has already ordered a cull of its 17million mink.
This has also led to concerns for Liverpool’s game away at Danish side FC Midtjylland in the Champions League, too.
It is understood that Jurgen Klopp’s side would be offered no exemption from quarantine rules should they have to travel for their game in Denmark.
Liverpool’s clash with FC Midtjylland is under threat due to the latest Government travel advice
As it stands, Premier League clubs are refusing players the right to travel to Scandinavian destinations due to the latest outbreak.
Manchester United have blocked Victor Lindelof from travelling to Denmark with the Swedish national team.
Lindelof – and four other Sweden internationals based in England and Scotland – will instead have to stay in England for the coming days, before travelling to Stockholm to meet up with their team-mates after the Denmark game.
Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel and Tottenham midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg were due to link up with Denmark while Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), Jannik Vestergaard (Southampton), Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford), Mathias Jensen (Brentford) and Jonas Lössl (Everton) could also miss out. Denmark have called up nine new players to the squad.
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