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Unvaccinated players dilemma for Robert Page & Cymru
Monday, 18th Jul 2022 08:59 by @Cornish67David

Qatar has imposed a five day quarantine for all unvaccinated players visiting the country to participate in this years World Cup in November. Numerous England players who would normally play in the World Cup are being mentioned as potentially not being selected for the tournament.

So, where does that leave Rob Page who has dramatically guided Wales to their first World Cuo Finals since 1958 ? Little is known on the position of his players regards their vaccination status, but the Football Association of Wales ( FAW) we have been told is extremely concerned on the changing protocols being enforced by Qatar.

We have contacted the FAW and asked if they are aware of how many of Rob Page’s potential selections are unvaccinated. As of last Friday we had received no response. Questions were raised at premier league level yesterday. N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have missed Chelsea’s American tour and manager Thomas Tuchel has suggested that Chelsea could avoid signing players who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 in the future. Numerous clubs have had their pre seasons thrown in to disarray in the last two weeks. Ex Swansea City player Marc Guehi was one of many unvaccinated Crystal Palace players left in the UK last week.

This affected Palace so much they arranged a pre season friendly in the UK for those players ineligible to enter Australia. With the five day isolation rule non negotiable this means players who are selected for Wales would be better placed to be vaccinated to avoid isolation from the squad. Losing them for the first five days of the tournament and it’s preparations would obviously affect the whole of the countries plans.

That goes without saying.

There could be a solution with those players flying in to Qatar five days earlier, but that could affect their clubs plans prior to the seasons break. At present that would mean being confined to a hotel room but it is possible that players could stay in designated hotels near sports facilities and have socially distanced daily training. It is believed Wales could land in Qatar eight days before the tournament starts.

A quandary for Robert Page.

Qatar World Cup officials have not confirmed the exact arrangements for the countries who have unvaccinated players, and certainly will be put under pressure to soften their regulations to enable a more transparent tournament. With little written about this latest development ( at the World Cup ) concerning Wales surely there needs to be some form of announcement relating to the FAW position in this matter. And of course for Robert Page to know exactly which of his selections could present logistical problems come the biggest tournament in Wales history.

Photographs licensed from Reuters

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