The Algeria Football Federation (FAF) has called for a replay of their World Cup play-off clash against Cameroon and lodged a complaint to FIFA over the refereeing, claiming the officiating "distorted the result".

Karl Toko Ekambi delivered the decisive strike in the 124th minute in Blida on Tuesday to condemn Algeria to a 2-1 aggregate loss on away goals, with Cameroon qualifying for Qatar 2022.

Islam Slimani saw two goals ruled out, the first in the second half and again in extra time, with referee Bakary Gassama initially allowing the latter finish to stand before using the pitch-side monitor to deem the Algeria striker had handled the ball.

Charaf-Eddine Amara has resigned as president of FAF left in the wake of Algeria's exit from World Cup qualifying, while the federation has lodged an appeal to world governing body FIFA.

"The Algerian Football Federation (FAF) has lodged an appeal with the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) against the scandalous arbitration which distorted the result of the Algeria-Cameroon play-off," the statement read.

"The FAF is determined to use all legally permitted means to have its rights restored and to replay the match under conditions guaranteeing the honesty and partiality of the arbitration.

"The FAF also requests the opening of an investigation by FIFA bodies to shed light on the arbitration of the Algeria-Cameroon match."

The draw for the group stage of the World Cup is set to take place on Friday.

Sadio Mane is proud to have helped Senegal overcome Egypt and qualify for the World Cup and says he was "luckier" to get the better of Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah.

Senegal beat Egypt on penalties in Tuesday's qualifying play-off in Dakar after winning 1-0 on the day to level the tie at 1-1 on aggregate.

Mane sunk the decisive spot-kick in a shoot-out overshadowed by the Egypt players – including Salah, who missed the opening kick – being targeted by lasers from the stands.

Senegal's triumph comes seven weeks on from beating the same opponents – again on penalties – in the Africa Cup of Nations final.

While happy at getting the better of Liverpool colleague Salah, Mane accepts the outcome of both games could have been a lot different.

"I won twice and he lost twice. I was luckier to come out on top," Mane told OnTime Sports.

"I am very proud that we won the Africa Cup of Nations and now qualified for the World Cup, it's a dream I had.

"It was a difficult game for both teams. Our fans pushed us to win and we didn't stop fighting. We knew the game wouldn't be easy but we pressed to score."

Senegal join Ghana, Tunisia, Morocco and Cameroon as Africa's representatives at Qatar 2022, with Nigeria, Mali, DR Congo and Algeria falling at the final hurdle.

Mane and Salah could reunite on the pitch next weekend, meanwhile, when Liverpool return to Premier League action against Watford.

Virgil van Dijk has backed Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah to "turn disappointment into success" after Egypt failed to qualify for this year's World Cup.

Salah, who had lasers directed at him from the crowd as he lined up his spot-kick, blazed over in the penalty shoot-out on Tuesday as it was Senegal – spearheaded by fellow Liverpool star Sadio Mane – who booked their spot in Qatar following a 1-1 aggregate draw across two legs.

It was the second time this year that Salah and Egypt have suffered shoot-out agony against Senegal, who triumphed in the same way in the Africa Cup of Nations final.

Salah has been one of the standout players in European football this season, yet will not get the chance to show his quality on the biggest international stage.

While Van Dijk is disappointed for Liverpool's talisman, he is confident the forward will use Egypt's failure to spur the Reds on to more success this season, with a quadruple still on the cards for Jurgen Klopp's team.

 

"Well obviously, I feel sorry for Mo and for Egypt, but football is sometimes like this," Van Dijk told reporters after featuring in the Netherlands' 1-1 friendly draw with Germany.

"I am sure he will turn the disappointment into success for the rest of the season.

"We still have everything to play for so there is a lot of things still to achieve for him."

While Salah will return to Liverpool disappointed, Mane will come back knowing he is set to lead Senegal, who exited in the group stage in Russia in 2018.

Van Dijk was thrilled for Mane, but could not resist firing a warning shot his team-mate's way.

"As for Sadio, I wish him all the best and if he is in our group, he is going to need that good luck," the defender added.

Egypt complained they suffered a bus attack and alleged Mohamed Salah faced racist abuse before their chaotic World Cup play-off defeat in Senegal.

The protest came before kick-off at Stade Abdoulaye Wade, where Senegal avenged a 1-0 first-leg defeat with victory by the same margin, before winning a controversial penalty shoot-out.

When it came down to spot-kicks, Egypt's players had lasers pointed towards them by home fans, a likely distraction as three visiting players, including Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, failed to convert.

That allowed Senegal to win 3-1 in the shoot-out, with Salah's club-mate Sadio Mane netting the winning strike.

It had been a challenging day for Egypt even before the game began, with pictures posted by their national football association indicating the team bus had been struck by missiles on its way to the stadium, which is situated a short distance outside Dakar.

One window was shattered, while evidence posted on social media by Egyptian authorities showed an apparently cracked windscreen and a rock that had been thrown into the vehicle.

The Egyptian FA (EFA) also posted a picture from inside the stadium of a banner reading "F*** YOU SALAH".

The EFA said in a statement: "Egypt files an official complaint against Senegal due to the attack and the racist banners.

"The Egyptian team was subjected to racism after offensive banners appeared in the stadium stands for the players, specifically Mohamed Salah, the team leader. This was documented with pictures and videos that were attached to the complaint."

Egyptian media said the complaint had been filed to CAF – the African confederation – and world governing body FIFA.

Furious Nigeria supporters stormed the pitch at the National Stadium in Lagos after rivals Ghana sealed a World Cup spot at the expense of the Super Eagles.

Arsenal's Thomas Partey opened the scoring in the 10th minute for Ghana, before William Troost-Ekong levelled from the penalty spot for the hosts midway through the first half.

Nigeria could not find a crucial second goal, however, with Otto Addo's Ghana side holding on for the 1-1 draw, to progress to Qatar 2022 via away goals after a 0-0 draw in the first leg.

The result sparked ugly scenes inside the stadium, with videos on social media showing supporters leaving their seats and smashing equipment at the side of the pitch.

There was heartbreak for Mohamed Salah and Egypt after they suffered another dramatic penalty shoot-out defeat to Senegal.

Hosts Senegan recovered from a 1-0 first-leg deficit to beat Egypt by the same margin at the Abdoulaye Wade Stadium, before Salah, with dozens of laser pens seemingly pointing at his face, fired Egypt's first penalty of the shoot-out over the bar.

Mostafa Mohamed later failed with the visitors' fourth kick, allowing Salah’s Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane to slam his penalty past Mohamed El Shenawy and seal Senegal's progress, in a repeat of February's Africa Cup of Nations final triumph.

"We try our best but today was not enough," he wrote. "To all my players and my staff, [I give] my recognition and humble thank you.

"You will be always in my heart. It was my privilege to work and be helped by such dedicated and capable professionals and wonderful friends."

There was stunning late drama in Bilda as Karl Toko Ekambi scored late in extra time to seal a 2-1 win for visitors Cameroon against Algeria, the Indomitable Lions progressing to Qatar via away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw.

Algeria thought they had sealed a place at the World Cup when Ahmed Touba cancelled out Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's opener with two minutes remaining in extra time, but there was just enough time left for Ekambi to seal the most dramatic of victories.

Morocco also booked their place in Friday's World Cup draw with an emphatic 4-1 win over Democratic Republic of Congo. A brace from Azzedine Ounahi, as well as goals from Tarik Tissoudali and Achraf Hakimi, sealed a 5-2 aggregate win over DR Congo, who scored a late consolation through Ben Malango.

Meanwhile, a 0-0 draw for Tunisia against Mali was enough to see the former seal their own place in Qatar after they managed a 1-0 win in the first leg.

Sadio Mane fired Senegal to the World Cup as Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah suffered penalty shoot-out agony with Egypt after being targeted with lasers by fans.

Senegal recovered from a 1-0 first-leg deficit to land victory by the same margin at the Abdoulaye Wade Stadium on Tuesday.

That meant the play-off, tied at 1-1 after 120 minutes of the second leg, went down to a battle of spot-kicks to decide who would go to Qatar 2022, and Salah missed Egypt's first penalty when he fired over the bar.

Lasers flashed across the pitch and were directed at Egypt's star man, who could not find the focus to convert from 12 yards.

The first four penalties were missed, with Salah's the second of those, before both sides netted their third kicks.

Egypt's Mostafa Mohamed failed with the visitors' fourth penalty, seeing his shot blocked, and that allowed Mane to step up and crack a fierce spot-kick past Mohamed El Shenawy, booking a place in Friday's draw.

Will it be Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane? Italy or Portugal – or indeed neither? Can Canada end their long wait, and are the United States and Australia at risk of missing out?

Those questions and plenty more are set to be answered over the next week or so as World Cup qualifying concludes for many nations.

Just 15 of the 32 participants have so far been confirmed for Qatar 2022, leaving 48 teams battling for the 17 remaining spots.

Fourteen more countries will be assured of a finals berth come the end of next week in what is very much crunch time for those still in contention.

Stats Perform looks at the key talking points.

Egypt seeking revenge in AFCON final repeat

Less than two months on from meeting in the Africa Cup of Nations final, Egypt and Senegal face off over two legs for a place in Qatar.

Senegal prevailed in a penalty shoot-out to claim their first AFCON crown and, buoyed by that triumph, will consider themselves as favourites here.

While both teams boast an array of top-class talent, this fixture is being billed as a showdown between Liverpool team-mates Salah and Mane.

The two biggest stars in African football, only one of the pair will be part of the World Cup later this year – and neither will fancy watching it all unfold from home.

This is not the only grudge match taking place in the CAF section over the next week and a half, as fierce rivals Ghana and Nigeria will also face off in a two-legged play-off.

Cameroon are up against Algeria, Mali take on Tunisia and DR Congo meet Morocco in the other three ties, each of which will be concluded on March 29.

European heavyweights on collision course

Since the play-off draw in the UEFA section took place in November, all talk has centered around a potential meeting between Italy and Portugal for a place in the finals.

The winners of the past two European Championships, either the Azzurri or the Selecao will miss out on the biggest tournament of them all.

It should never have been this way, of course, as both teams were strong favourites to finish top of their groups and qualify automatically.

Italy finished second to Switzerland and Portugal were runners-up to Serbia, meaning the sides must now come through two qualifying ties.

First up for the reigning European champions is a meeting with North Macedonia in Palermo, while Portugal face Turkey in Porto, with the winners of both ties advancing.

Should, as expected, Italy and Portugal come through those semi-finals, the latter will have the advantage of staging the final on home soil five days later.

For Portugal skipper Cristiano Ronaldo, it presents what will surely be his last chance to play at a record-equalling fifth World Cup.

 

Pathways impacted by political events

Path C of UEFA qualifying is undoubtedly the most eye-catching, but there are also some tasty fixtures in the other two sections – not least a possible Home Nations derby.

Scotland and Wales were kept apart in the Path B semi-finals but could meet in the final should they overcome Ukraine and Austria respectively.

However, due to ongoing events in Ukraine, their game against Scotland has been pushed back – likely until June – as has the final involving either Wales or Austria.

In Path C, Russia had been due to face Poland, but the invasion of Ukraine forced FIFA and UEFA's hand and they have been banned from competing.

Poland have therefore been handed a bye to the qualifying play-off final, where either Sweden or the Czech Republic await. That match will be contested next week as planned.

Canada on verge of ending long wait, USA with work to do

The United States qualified for every World Cup between 1990 and 2014, but they missed out on a place at Russia 2018 after an embarrassing loss to Trinidad and Tobago.

Gregg Berhalter's side are by no means assured of one of the three automatic qualification spots in the CONCACAF section this time around, either.

USA sit second with three games to go, but they still have to travel to third-placed Mexico, as well as facing Panama and Costa Rica, who occupy fourth and fifth respectively.

Level on points with Mexico and four ahead of Costa Rica, it could be a tense finale to qualifying for the Stars and Stripes.

That should not be the case for Canada, who are eight points clear of fourth and are all but assured of ending their 36-year wait to make a second World Cup finals appearance.

Brazil and Argentina through, but who will join them?

The drawn-out South American qualifiers are nearing their conclusion and only four of the 10 sides know their fate at this juncture.

It has been plain sailing for Brazil and Argentina, who are assured of an automatic qualifying spot with three games to go, including a rescheduled meeting between the pair.

Behind those perennial World Cup representatives are Ecuador, who have been the surprise package in qualifying and can finish no lower than fifth.

Ecuador will not be content with anything other than a top-four finish, though, and they can make certain of that with victory over Paraguay.

Assuming Ecuador get over the line, that will leave Uruguay, Peru, Chile, Colombia and Bolivia battling it out for progression, which sets up some intriguing fixtures.

Uruguay occupy fourth place, meaning their qualifying aspirations are in their own hands, but they have Peru and Chile – the two sides behind them – still to face.

Socceroos sweating on finals spot

Only four teams advance automatically from the CONMEBOL section, with the team in fifth entering a play-off against the winner of the AFC fourth round in a one-off tie in June.

That may well turn out to be Australia as the Socceroos are five and four points behind top two Saudi Arabia and Japan in Group B with two games to go.

However, those remaining two fixtures are against those nations occupying automatic qualification places, so Australia may yet sneak through.

Iran and South Korea have already made certain of progression in Group A, meanwhile, leaving the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Iraq to compete for third place.

The two third-placed finishers – which, as it stands, are Australia and the UAE – will meet in a one-legged match ahead of that aforementioned play-off with a CONMEBOL side.

Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana incredibly walked away without serious injury from a major car crash on his way to join up with the Cameroon national team on Tuesday.

Onana, who is expected to join Inter at the end of the season on a free transfer, was travelling from the capital Yaounde to the port city of Douala, where the Indomitable Lions are gathering ahead of their World Cup play-off against Algeria.

Local media showed pictures of the car in which Onana was travelling, and another vehicle, with the front part of each being badly mangled.

Onana, 25, was taken from the crash site to the Cameroon team base and posed for pictures, appearing unhurt; however, it was determined he should head for hospital check-ups.

"Andre Onana is fine," the team's official Twitter page stated. "The Indomitable Lions goalkeeper joined his team-mates in the den in Douala this morning.

"More fear than harm for the moment after the traffic accident he suffered early this morning in Sombo on the Yaounde to Douala axis.

"Andre Onana will undergo in-depth examinations in a referral hospital centre in Douala."

Cameroon will host Algeria in the first leg of their play-off on Friday, with the second leg taking place in Blida next Tuesday. The aggregate winner will qualify for the Qatar 2022 finals.

The 2022 World Cup gets underway in exactly one year's time.

The tournament has courted controversy ever since its hosting rights were awarded, but it promises to be quite the spectacle in a part of the world that has never hosted it before.

Here is everything you need to know about the finals...

Where is the World Cup being held?

The 2022 World Cup takes place in Qatar. It is the first time the tournament will be held in the Middle East

The finals will be staged in five cities: Al Wakrah, Al Khor, Al Rayyan, Lusail, and the capital, Doha.

Qatar is the smallest country ever to host the World Cup. With a surface area of 11,500 square kilometres, it is the 158th largest country in the world and can be traversed in roughly two hours.

A peninsula nation whose economy is powered by oil and natural gas, Qatar has been constructing what FIFA describes as "some of the most eco-friendly and architecturally advanced sporting facilities ever seen" ahead of the tournament.

When does the tournament take place?

The 2022 World Cup will be held from November 21 until December 18, with 64 matches played. The time frame has been slightly condensed because of the impact a winter World Cup will have on many of the world's domestic seasons.

The opening match takes place at Al Bayt Stadium on November 21, with the group stage finishing on December 2. The round of 16 begins the following day.

The quarter-finals will be held on December 9 and 10, with the semi-finals on December 13 (at Lusail Stadium) and December 14 (at Al Bayt Stadium).

The third-place play-off is on December 17 at Khalifa International Stadium, with the final on December 18 at Lusail Stadium.

 

What are the venues?

The tournament is being held across five city regions: Al Wakrah, Al Khor and Lusail contain one stadium each, with two in Al Rayyan and a further three in Doha.

The venues and their capacities are:

Al Rayyan
Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium: 44,000

Education City Stadium: 45,350

Al Khor
Al Bayt Stadium: 60,000

Al Wakrah
Al Janoub Stadium: 40,000

Doha
Al Thumama Stadium: 40,000

Ras Abu Aboud Stadium: 40,000

Khalifa International Stadium: 40,000

Lusail
Lusail Iconic Stadium: 80,000

 

 

Which teams have qualified?

At the moment, the following teams have qualified for the finals:

Qatar (automatically qualified as host nation)

Denmark

Germany

Brazil

France

Belgium

Croatia

Spain

Serbia

England

Switzerland

Netherlands

Argentina

 

Why is it controversial?

The bidding process for the hosting rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups has been beset by allegations of corruption.

Although a FIFA investigation cleared Qatar of wrongdoing, Swiss federal prosecutors opened criminal proceedings into the awarding of the two tournaments as part of a wider probe into alleged criminal activity concerning some former FIFA executives.

Concerns have also been raised about the treatment of migrant workers used in the massive construction projects for the tournament. Amnesty International said labourers in Qatar were subject to abuse, inhuman working conditions and little pay, describing "a playground for unscrupulous employers" in September 2019.

In response, Qatari authorities changed their employment law after entering a partnership with the UN's International Labour Organisation (ILO) aimed at reforming their labour policies. The introduction of a new minimum wage and a commitment to end the 'kafala' system, which made it impossible for workers to change jobs without their employer's permission, were welcomed by the ILO and Amnesty International.

The decision to stage the World Cup during the Northern Hemisphere's winter was taken due to the extreme heat common in summer in Qatar. However, moving the tournament to November and December, when the European club season is at its busiest, will create a knock-on effect for 2022-23.

The Premier League, for example, plans to take a seven-week break between November 13 and December 26 to accommodate the World Cup, while the Champions League final is set to be pushed back into June. There are concerns about the physical toll the prolonged season will have on players; Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow described it as a "crazy idea".

South Africa have filed a complaint to FIFA over perceived "questionable decisions" in Sunday's 1-0 loss to Ghana and have called for the game to be replayed.

Bafana Bafana required a point from the game in Cape Coast to reach the final round of CAF qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, but fell to a 33rd-minute Andrew Ayew penalty.

Ghana advanced to the next stage at South Africa's expense by finishing above their opponents in Group G on goals scored, with the teams level on both points and goal difference.

However, South Africa ​Football Association (SAFA) chief executive Tebogo Motlanthe felt a number of calls – including the penalty incident – went against his side.

"The match officials have decided the game, which is not what is supposed to happen," Motlanthe said in a statement posted on the SAFA's official Twitter page on Monday.

"We will be writing to both CAF and FIFA – firstly to investigate how the game was handled and secondly to challenge some of these decisions.

"We have already registered with the match commissioner that we will be making a formal complaint."

Ghana's decisive penalty was awarded by referee Maguette Ndiaye for Rushine de Reuck's challenge on Daniel Amartey.

"We are very disheartened by their actions and we can't let it destroy the players – when we have the chance to challenge, we will challenge," Motlanthe said.

"We feel very much robbed because it is not an isolated incident of a penalty. 

"There are just a lot of questionable decisions by match officials and we will get an expert to dissect other incidents, so we can make a strong case."

South Africa are no strangers to having to replay a game, with their 2-1 win over Senegal in 2018 World Cup qualifying being wiped out after a referee was found guilty of manipulating the match.

Motlanthe added: "Of course we are looking at the precedent whereby FIFA ordered us to replay Senegal and we think that if justice needs to be served the same decision should be taken against this Ghana game."

However, Ghana match-winner Ayew does not believe South Africa have a case, arguing his side were themselves hard done by.

"It was a clear penalty on [Amartey]. In fact, we had chances to get more penalties and should have been given two more," he told reporters after the match.

DR Congo, Egypt, Mali, Morocco and Senegal are also through to round three of qualifying, with four more teams left to join them.

Senegal head coach Aliou Cisse eased concerns over Liverpool star Sadio Mane following his early withdrawal against Togo, describing his injury as "nothing serious".

The Reds forward was substituted after just 28 minutes on Thursday, with Villarreal striker Boulaye Dia replacing him, and Senegal needed a 93rd-minute equaliser from Habib Diallo to cancel out Pape Abou Cisse's first-half own goal and salvage a draw.

The result ended Senegal's four-game winning streak in World Cup qualifying, although they have already advanced to the next stage as Group H winners.

Mane's enforced substitution sparked worries the 29-year-old could be set for a spell on the sidelines, but his national team boss insisted the move was precautionary.

"The [injury] is nothing serious," Cisse said after the game. "We replaced him only as a precaution, not for anything important."

Mane has been crucial to Liverpool this term, netting eight goals across all competitions for the Reds in 15 appearances, behind only Mohamed Salah, who has 15 strikes to his name.

The Senegal winger has also taken the second-most shots in all competitions for Liverpool (42), with 35 of them coming inside the box – again, only Salah betters both tallies at the club.

Liverpool suffered their first league defeat of the season against West Ham before the international break and slipped to fourth in the Premier League table as a result, but Jurgen Klopp's men are only four points behind leaders Chelsea and still very much in the title race.

Morocco head coach Vahid Halilhodzic says he dropped Hakim Ziyech due to the Chelsea winger's unacceptable behaviour when he was on international duty in June.

Ziyech was left out of Morocco's squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Sudan on Thursday and Guinea next Monday.

The 28-year-old came off the bench in a 1-0 friendly win over Ghana three months ago before starting in a victory by the same scoreline against Burkina Faso.

Halilhodzic has explained he dropped the former Ajax man due to his conduct the last time he was called up.

"His behaviour in the last two matches, especially the last one, was not that of a national team player who as a leader in the team has to be a positive role model," Halilhodzic said.

"He arrived late and after that, he even refused to work. There was no point in discussing it afterwards, as a coach the answer is right there to see. For me, the national team is above everything, nobody can hold it hostage."

Halilhodzic claimed Ziyech refused to play against Ghana, claiming he was not fully fit, and did not want to come off the bench.

He added: "For the first time in my coaching career, I have seen behaviour that disappoints me. A player who refuses to play a game, admittedly a friendly, on the pretext that he is injured.

"The medical staff made several examinations and said he could play. He then refused to warm up in the second half because he was disappointed to be a substitute. For me, that type of behaviour is unacceptable.

"You can't cheat with the national team. You are 100 per cent there or you are not."

Former Morocco boss Herve Renard left Ziyech out of his squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2017.

Ziyech stated that he would not play for his country while Renard was in charge, but returned in September 2017 to win a first cap for almost a year.

Premier League clubs have "reluctantly and unanimously" agreed not to release players for international matches due to be played in countries on the United Kingdom's red list next month.

International managers have been naming their squads for the upcoming September fixtures this week, though with the coronavirus pandemic still causing global upheaval, the Premier League clubs have intervened.

On Monday, Liverpool blocked star forward Mohamed Salah from travelling to join up with Egypt's squad for their home game, though would reportedly have allowed their talisman to travel to Gabon, which is on the UK's amber list.

Countries on the red list for travel to and from the UK require arrivals to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days upon their return, regardless of vaccination status.

However, nations on the amber list require no such mandatory quarantine if fully vaccinated, though testing protocols must be followed.

Last season, FIFA installed a temporary release exception for players required to quarantine on their return from international duty to enable clubs to block their release, though it has not been retained for 2021-22.

With Brazil, Argentina and the rest of South America on the UK's red list, Liverpool were also expected to block Alisson, Roberto Firmino and Fabinho from travelling, while on Tuesday it was reported Manchester City would prevent Ederson and Gabriel Jesus from leaving as well.

Now, with the full backing of the Premier League, the clubs have now agreed to unanimously prevent their players featuring for their countries if the fixtures involve travelling to nations on the red list.

A Premier League statement confirmed nearly 60 players, from 19 Premier League clubs, had been due to travel to 26 red-list countries.

The statement continued: "Extensive discussions have taken place with both The FA and the Government to find a solution, but due to ongoing public health concerns relating to incoming travellers from red-list countries, no exemption has been granted.

"If required to quarantine on return from red list countries, not only would players' welfare and fitness be significantly impacted, but they would also be unavailable to prepare for and play in two Premier League match rounds, a UEFA club competition matchday and the third round of the EFL Cup.

"This period takes into consideration 10 days of hotel quarantine on return to England but does not include any additional time that would be required for players to regain match fitness."

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters added: "Premier League clubs have always supported their players' desires to represent their countries – this is a matter of pride for all concerned.

"However, clubs have reluctantly but rightly come to the conclusion that it would be entirely unreasonable to release players under these new circumstances.

"Quarantine requirements mean that players' welfare and fitness will be significantly impacted. We understand the challenges that exist in the international match calendar and remain open to workable solutions."

The league's statement concluded by declaring clubs' frustration with FIFA for extending CONMEBOL's international window from nine days to 11 in both September and October.

Liverpool have refused to release Mohamed Salah to play in Egypt's upcoming World Cup qualifier with Angola because of quarantine restrictions he would face on his return.

The Egyptian Football Association released a statement on Monday announcing that Liverpool had informed the governing body Salah would not be allowed to join his country at their camp for the fixtures with Angola on September 2 and Gabon on September 5.

"The Egyptian Football Association has received a letter from Liverpool FC apologising for the inability of its player, Mohamed Salah, to join the national team in its next camp, which includes facing Angola in Cairo and Gabon in Franceville during the first and second rounds of the African continent's qualifiers for the World Cup," the statement read.

"The English club's letter referred to the precautionary measures applied in England to confront the outbreak of the coronavirus in the world, which puts returnees from some countries in compulsory health isolation for a period of 10 days upon their return to England.

"In this letter, the English club also expressed its hope that the Egyptian Federation would understand that it was forced to do so, in the face of the player being subjected to a quarantine for this period and being affected by this physically, as well as the uncertainty of the conditions determined by the English authorities. It is reported that Liverpool FC took the same position with a number of its foreign players."

As Egypt is on the UK Government's travel red list, Salah would have to quarantine for 10 days upon his return from the camp, meaning he would miss Liverpool's Premier League fixture with Leeds United on September 12.

However, the club are reportedly happy for Salah to travel to Franceville for the game against Gabon, which is on the UK's amber list. Salah would not have to quarantine after visiting the country.

Liverpool and other members of the European Club Association (ECA) are said to have been seeking exemptions to allow their players to avoid quarantine, while the Egyptian FA has asked FIFA to try to resolve the issue.

Without exemptions, Liverpool are also expected to block Brazil internationals Alisson, Roberto Firmino and Fabinho from travelling for the Selecao's next round of qualifiers.

Brazil remains on the UK red list as one of the countries worst affected by the pandemic. Tite's men visit Chile before hosting Argentina on September 5.

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