England's Nations League clash in doubt with entire Iceland squad banned from entering country
ENGLAND’S Nations League clash with Iceland is in danger of being called off after the government’s travel ban on anyone entering the country from Denmark.
And Premier League clubs are now almost certain to stop some of their stars linking up for international duty to avoid losing them for a fortnight when the season resumes.
In a major development, the government's new ban on arrivals from Denmark includes ALL elite sportspeople who had otherwise been exempt from restrictions.
That means the entire Iceland squad will be denied entry to Britain for their Wembley clash with the Three Lions on November 18.
Iceland face Denmark in Copenhagen three days earlier, so they fall victim to the updated rules.
The government say they are now in conversation with the FA over the impact of the new requirements but insist they will not review the guidelines for at least a week.
That leaves England and boss Gareth Southgate with a major headache – and fearing their third match of the international break will not go ahead.
Since sport resumed in the midst of the pandemic, elite competitors had been exempt from any quarantine controls because they were working in a secure environment.
That is not the case with the Denmark guidelines as the Department of Transport said: "Unlike other travel to the UK, there will be no exemptions to this quarantine policy. "
The rushed decision on Denmark also causes a huge problem for Premier League clubs who have players due to represent the country over the following fortnight.
Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel, Andreas Christensen of Chelsea, Tottenham’s Pierre Emile Hojbjerg and Southampton defender Jannick Vestergaard are all part of the Danish squad due to link up on Monday.
As they are residents in the UK, they will be allowed back into the country but must self-isolate for 14 days, meaning they would all miss three top-flight games.
Fifa rules issued at the start of the pandemic made it clear clubs will be able to withdraw their players from international duty if there is a risk of coronavirus infection.
The Prem have made it clear UK rules still have to be complied with if the Elite Sport exemption does not apply.
That leaves clubs with no option but to block their players leaving.
And it could impact other sides in the division, with Denmark hosting Sweden in a friendly on Wednesday before facing Iceland and then Belgium in the Nations League.
Sweden have called up Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof, Everton keeper Robin Olsen and Newcastle’s Emile Krafth for the game.
And if they visit Denmark they too will be subject to the fortnight quarantine when they arrive back in the UK.
Clubs already follow new Prem rules for all players returning from international duty amid fears testing is not as stringent overseas.
Anyone arriving back in the country will have to provide a negative Covid-19 result before they are even allowed to resume training with their clubs.
That means some are likely to be met and tested at the airport so the results can be returned in enough time for them to train before the games once the league season resumes.
Some might not touch down until well into Thursday November 19, and it can take up to 48 hours before results finally arrive back at clubs.
It leaves managers potentially not knowing until matchday itself if they can select players that weekend.
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