BERLIN – German football clubs are considering refusing to allow their players to turn out for their countries in the upcoming internationals in November.
Various clubs have called the current travel rules for national team staff and players irresponsible. Several sides suffered from positive COVID-19 cases after people returned from international duty.
Officials demanded that FIFA set up strict travel and hygiene measurements.
TSG Hoffenheim manager Alexander Rosen threatened to keep the players at home if things don’t change significantly.
“We are doing everything we possibly can to secure safety but have the feeling associations don’t care,” Rosen said. Procedures can’t go on as usual otherwise, “we have to consider banning players from traveling.”
The clubs claim to have set up strict and well-oiled procedures for the league and international competitions.
Dortmund coach Lucien Favre called the traveling “dangerous.” Cologne’s managing director, Host Heldt said, “it is total nonsense that teams and players travel around in the current situation.”
Heldt said it is the clubs that pay the players, not the associations.
According to Freiburg manager Jochen Saier, the internationals have shown that infections can’t be excluded.
But not only the risk of infection is bothering the clubs. Many complain about energy sapping games despite a tight schedule.
Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz complained about additional friendlies aside from competitive games. “The national coaches, the club coaches, and the players don’t want them. This extra load is unnecessary despite the fact it is done for monetary purposes.”
Hoffenheim had to replace their infected Croatian top striker Andrej Kramaric and Ghanaian Kasim Adams in their unsuccessful league encounter against Dortmund (1-0).
Two others had to take a break after returning late from their national teams.
Growing infection rates among footballers are endangering the continuation of the 2020/2021 league season, Saier added.
Securing the league competition must be the main target as a new interruption is a severe financial threat for the clubs Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke commented.
Watzke called it vital to address the clauses in the TV contracts. “Otherwise, we risk major problems for several clubs,” the 61-year-old said.
Bayern coach Hansi Flick called it essential to cooperate with the national team coaches. The 2020 treble winner said both perspectives must be considered.
Several coaches praised the collaboration with their counterparts on the international stage. “Things have improved regarding the load-control in the national team,” Moenchengladbach coach Marco Rose underlined.
Leipzig manager Markus Kroesche demanded further regulations and support for the clubs from FIFA.
Several coaches expressed their understanding of associations’ issues and demanded to increase efforts to install strict travel rules for the internationals in November.