The Football Association has asked the Government to allow England’s UEFA Nations League match against Iceland next Wednesday to be played at Wembley.
The game looked set to be held in another country, most likely Germany, as the Icelandic team are not currently allowed into the country due to coronavirus travel restrictions.
They play in Copenhagen on Sunday against Denmark – a country subject to enhanced travel restrictions due to a new strain of Covid-19.
[1/13] We have asked Government to consider allowing us to play our final UEFA Nations League match at Wembley Stadium, by giving travel exemption to the Icelandic team subject to strict medical protocols. pic.twitter.com/Kt30BlC54d— FA Spokesperson (@FAspokesperson) November 12, 2020
An FA statement read: “We have asked Government to consider allowing us to play our final UEFA Nations League match at Wembley Stadium, by giving travel exemption to the Icelandic team subject to strict medical protocols.
“The Icelandic team will have played Denmark in Copenhagen and therefore would be subject to a travel ban.
“While in Denmark they will have been under strict UEFA protocols in a sporting bubble and will be PCR tested before travelling to England. The PCR test picks up the Cluster 5 variant.”
The FA has said it will ensure the Icelandic team will be kept in a bio-secure bubble and would receive extra testing.
“We have agreed with the Icelandic team that they arrive on private charter to a private terminal and will only have access to their hotel and the stadium,” the governing body added.
“We will also put in place additional testing over and above the multiple tests normally required for each participant and staff at the match.”
The match against Iceland could decide whether England qualify for the knockout stages of the Nations League, so they would prefer the home advantage of playing at the national stadium.
However, the FA insists the safety of its players is of primary concern and do not want to inflict extra travel on them, as well as additional costs.
“We are not asking for this support to help us have home advantage in this competitive international match, although of course that would be helpful,” the statement continued.
“We are not asking for this support to avoid a huge cost from playing an England home match in Germany, although we can ill afford the financial penalty at this time.
“The priority must be health, which is why we are asking for this support. We believe it’s in the better interests of the England team and support staff to play at Wembley Stadium rather than have international travel at this time – and then play the match under the same UEFA protocols against the same opposition, but in a different country.”
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