ENGLAND could end up playing their Nations League clash with Iceland more than a thousand miles from Wembley . . . in Albania!
And that would spark another huge club v country row.
England boss Gareth Southgate might face big problems with Premier League clubs if the Nations League tie is switched to AlbaniaCredit: Reuters
Wembley was due to host England’s clash with Iceland on November 18 but the venue is now in doubt due to new Covid-19 restrictionsCredit: Rex Features
If they make the Balkans trip next Wednesday, Gareth Southgate’s stars face not returning home until the early hours of Thursday — two days before the Premier League restart.
As revealed in the Sun on Sunday, Iceland’s visit to Wembley is in doubt because of the Government’s new Covid-19 travel ban on non-UK citizens arriving from Denmark due to a new coronavirus strain.
Iceland are set to play Denmark in Copenhagen on Sunday — the same day England travel to Belgium — before flying to London.
The FA are locked in urgent talks with Government officials to force a U-turn and allow the Icelandic team to play at Wembley in eight days’ time.
UK citizens can return from Denmark but must isolate along with all members of their household for 14 days.
But under the new rules, Iceland’s squad will be denied entry into England, meaning the FA are looking at a neutral venue if the Government refuses to back down.
The Albanian FA have offered use of their national stadium in Tirana — a 2,000-mile round trip for the Three Lions stars.
Reece James and Mason Mount are among Chelsea aces who could return from England duty on the Thursday, two days before a lunchtime clash at NewcastleCredit: PA:Press Association
And the three-hour return flight would mean England’s players missing training at their clubs on the Thursday.
Cyprus, Greece, Hungary and Poland have previously offered to stage Uefa matches during the coronavirus crisis.
The Cypriots have already committed to hosting a game, while the other three countries all suffered recent spikes in the virus.
Southgate is continuing his preparations for Thursday’s friendly with the Republic of Ireland at Wembley.
Not all of his players will link up with the squad today.
Trent Alexander-Arnold faces four weeks out with a calf injury and there is also a doubt over Marcus Rashford, who has a shoulder problem.
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