Nuno demands help from ‘governing bodies’ over call-ups


Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo has called on football’s governing bodies to help protect clubs whose players have been called up for international duty in red-list countries next week.

Spurs were left without Argentinian pair Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero and Colombia international Davinson Sanchez for two games earlier this month when they travelled to South America for World Cup qualifiers and had to spend 10 days in Croatia to avoid a hard quarantine in this country.

Premier League clubs voted against having to release players in such circumstances, but the Spurs trio, along with Aston Villa’s Emi Buendia and Emi Martinez, opted to travel anyway.

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Discussions are ongoing between the Government, the Premier League and FIFA over a possible exemption for players from the 10-day hotel quarantine usually a requirement for travellers returning to the UK from a red-list country.

Lo Celso and Romero have again been called up along with Brazil right-back Emerson Royal, who is one of eight Premier League players to be called up for next month’s games.

Despite players due to set off at the weekend, clubs have yet to receive any guidance.

Nuno said: “What we expect is what we’re concerned about. That the governing bodies make a decision that can protect the clubs in this international break.

“We don’t want this situation to repeat again so we don’t have our players. I always said, it’s very difficult to say ‘no’ to a national team.

“It’s never been the case before. We’re facing this situation through the pandemic. What we want is protection.

“As clubs we need a decision to protect us. We want our players in national teams and we want them available for us also.”

Next up: NŠ Mura. 👊

— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 29, 2021

Tottenham’s players missed games against Crystal Palace and Rennes as they headed to Croatia in order to be allowed to train normally with a club physio.

Although nothing has been decided, Nuno does not think that will happen again.

“We have been through this problem before and we don’t want the situation to repeat itself,” he said.

“We know and everybody knows there are conversations going on within governing bodies to solve the situation. What we can’t afford is to have our players out again.

“I’m not even considering that scenario because what we want is the situation solved before. Some guidance before so we can communicate to our players and tell the best way to deal with the situation.”

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