Football’s ruling body FIFA announced on Sunday that an appeal by an affiliate of its Spanish member-association against an extension of the international window has been rejected.
The appeal was against an extension of the international window for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in South America.
FIFA said the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) confirmed its decision to add two days to the September window.
Spain’s La Liga went to CAS claiming FIFA was violating its own statutes when it added the additional days.
The addition was in order to stage additional qualifiers cancelled earlier in the year owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Today’s CAS decision confirms the legality of FIFA’s decision and entirely rejects the arguments made by Spain’s La Liga,” FIFA said.
“We now expect the release of players for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers in South America to occur in accordance with the recent FIFA decision.”
FIFA President Gianni Infantino had earlier in the week called for a show of solidarity from all member-associations.
England’s Premier League also said its clubs would not allow nearly 60 players to be released for international matches played in red-list countries.
These players, if released, will require a 10-day quarantine period in a hotel on their return.
Spain did not want to release dozens of players because the extended window of Thursday to Sept. 10 would impact their next round of Sept. 11 to Sept. 12.
La Liga was not happy with the CAS ruling, saying it would continue to challenge the FIFA decision.
It labeled the decision “a clear declaration of intent to infringe on the autonomy of domestic leagues, in an abuse of rights.”
“Players will rejoin their club teams on Sept. 10 after having played three games, and many of them would play league matches on Saturday or Sunday, clearly not being in a position to compete under equal conditions with their clubs.”
La Liga said it has requested charter flights to bring home all the affected players and has requested a revision of the affected domestic round.
It also said the “senseless situation” would occur again in October, affecting another match day.(dpa/NAN)