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Thursday 06 September 2012

Release rules for international fixtures

When players must be freed by clubs to play for their countries and possible compensation

  • Papiss Cisse is in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying action for Senegal

This week more than 170 players from the 20 Barclays Premier League clubs have left for far-flung shores to represent more than 50 national teams.

The English top flight's finest protagonists will be playing in FIFA World Cup qualifiers, African Cup of Nations play-offs and friendlies. Here are the rules that govern their release by Barclays Premier League clubs.

Regulations for release of players

Premier League players have been released by their clubs in accordance with Football Association rules that state that they must be released 48 hours before a friendly match, four days (including the day of the match) before qualifying fixtures for international tournaments and, in the case of double dates (Friday-Tuesday matches), five days before the beginning of the timespan fixed by the calendar (including the relevant Friday).

That lead time becomes five days if the match concerned is held in a different confederation to the one in which the player’s club is registered.

To that end many players joined up with their national teams on Monday, ahead of some key fixtures on Friday.

All the home nations get their FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign under way in the next week, with England playing Moldova and Ukraine, Scotland facing Serbia and Macedonia, Northern Ireland taking on Russia and Luxembourg and Wales playing Belgium and Serbia.

Procedure for compensation in case of injury

As Premier League managers make do without many of their leading players before Matchweek 4, which starts on 15th September, they will be keeping their fingers crossed that they return with a clean bill of health. Such is the nature of the sport, however, that players do occasionally sustain injuries while representing their countries.

In that eventuality FIFA's Club Protection Programme (CPP), which came into effect on 1st September 2012, insures players in the event of injury while on international duty.

Players are covered for all matches listed in the international match calendar for the period from 1st September 2012 until 31st December 2014.

The amount insured is the player's annual fixed salary with a maximum of a daily amount of about $27,000 (€20,548) paid by the insurance for a maximum period of 365 days making a total amount of $9.7m (€7.5m) per player. The overall estimated cost of this programme is around $75m.

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Key Points

  • Premier League stars involved in international action this week
  • International teams starting their qualifying campaign for FIFA World Cup 2014
  • There are also key matches in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying