More facts are beginning to emerge why the UK quartet of Alex Iwobi, Leon Balogun, Ola Aina, and Joseph Aribo left for London immediately after seeing off Lesotho at Teslim Balogun Stadium on Tuesday, Roving Naija can exclusively report.
Super Eagles’ 3-0 win over Lesotho was the icing on the cake having booked their passage to 2022 AFCON in Cameroon before Benin clash in Port Novo, but it is the failure of UK based players to return the Eagles Eko Hotel nest after the clash that has continued o generate debate among stakeholders and fans alike.
The four players alongside FC Benfica defender, Tyrone Ebuehi had checked out of their rooms at Eko Hotels and Suites few hours before the team’s departure for the stadium and we’re seeing moving out their luggages.
Although FA official merely pointed out club engagements as the reason behind their early flight back to base, but RovingNaija dug deeper and was told by a decent source close to the players that UK new Covid-19 rules was the main factor behind their decision.
“The player have to adhere to new Covid-19 rules which require that international player go into self isolation for 10 after any trip oversees,”our source revealed.
Indeed, Premier League players and staff must now self-isolate for 10 days after any overseas trip — aside from training and matches — as part of new government rules brought into effect in February.
The UK government had previously tightened COVID-19 travel measures for the general public but professional teams were exempt as a result of special regulations relating to elite sport.
However, clubs will now have to ensure those who take part in Champions League and Europa League ties stay at home for 10 days upon their return to the country aside from attending their place of work, specifically training grounds and stadiums.
The same rule also applies to international football. The 10-day period can be halved if a negative test is returned after five days.
While Rangers duo of Leon Balogun and Joe Aribo are waiting to be crowned Scottish league champions this season, Iwobi will have to dig deeper and help Everton qualify for Europe next season.
As for Ola Aina, Fulham safety will be paramount as manager Scot Parker continue grind positive results in an effort to avoid a drop to Championship next step season.