Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made his stance clear in relation to the international duty dilemma that Edinson Cavani and Fred face, according to the MEN.
All of South America is currently on the UK government’s red list, meaning that Cavani and Fred would have to quarantine for 10 days were they to head out on duty for Uruguay and Brazil respectively.
With the Premier League learning that the government are currently unwilling to offer a quarantine exemption to footballers, they announced on Tuesday that clubs unanimously decided against releasing those who would be playing in red list countries.
This decision massively impacts the South American World Cup qualifiers that will take place in the September international break, with CONMEBOL nations playing three qualifiers each.
Solskjaer described the ordeal as an ‘impossible’ situation for both clubs and players as he feels that a 10-day quarantine period could also leave footballers fighting back to fitness for another 14 days after.
The United boss was perhaps naive with his statement of ‘I know who my employer is’ and admission that he’d pick playing for the Red Devils over representing Norway.
Solskjaer isn’t a player anymore, so it’s easy for him to take this stance when a call from Norway is no longer something that he has to deal with.
Solskjaer insisted that he would choose Man United over Norway:
“I don’t want to be the manager who always moans, but it’s a fact that if you have to have 10 days in a hotel quarantining with no chance to train, no chance to keep your fitness up then you’ll need another 10-14 days to get back up to fitness again and then you’ve got to fly again.”
“It’s an impossible situation for the clubs, it’s an impossible situation for the players. We understand that there are rules and broader issues here, that’s why we have to follow the rules and get on with it.”
“I don’t want to be the moaning one but if there was a choice for me, playing for Norway or playing for Man United, I know who my employer is.”
“Yes, it’s my country but the rules are as they are at the moment. Anyway, I’m not a player any more.”
Solskjaer then expressed his hope for a solution, but that lies firmly with the authorities:
“The Premier League made the decision they did, La Liga did, of course we’re all hoping for a solution but we leave that to the authorities,”
“It’s the start of a very, very difficult and long season, a very important season, we’ll see what happens and hopefully there’s a solution. We’ll just have to follow the rules.”
Whilst the lack of Fred’s presence could be eased by the fact that Brazil hold a six-point lead at the top of the qualifying table and the fact that he’s 28 years old, the situation seems different for Cavani.
Uruguay sit fourth in the qualifying table, level on points with Colombia, with that being the last place that guarantees a spot in the 2022 World Cup.
Cavani is also 34 years old and approaching the end of his illustrious career, so it seems harsh and unfair for a formidable player to be denied the chance to add to 123 caps and 53 goals for his nation.
Cavani also holds a much more important role to the Uruguayan national team than Fred does for Brazil, the striker is one of their most senior players so being unavailable would be a massive blow.
The president of the Uruguayan FA stated a couple of days ago that he’d spoken to Cavani and believed a ‘solution’ could be found.
The player himself has been left perplexed by the Premier League’s decision, as he let on with a post to his Instagram story at the time of the announcement.