Liverpool may be required to forfeit their Champions League clash away to Midtjylland next month, due to restrictions on travel from the UK due to COVID-19.
The Reds are scheduled to head to Herning on December 9 for the final game of Group D, but it remains to be seen whether they will be permitted to travel.
Due to a new strain of coronavirus that has spread from mink to humans in Denmark, the UK government have enforced a ban on non-citizens coming in from the Scandinavian country, and informed UK citizens returning that they would need to self-isolate for 14 days.
This could clearly be a problem for Jurgen Klopp and his squad, and the club are required to inform UEFA as to their travel restrictions by Monday or risk forfeiting the tie.
Elite sports teams have been exempt from coronavirus-related travel restrictions up until now, but the government guidance on this says that “Unlike other travel to the UK, there will be no exemptions to this quarantine policy.”
That is according to the Telegraph‘s Ben Rumsby, who explains that this will also affect England’s UEFA Nations League clash with Iceland on November 18, due to their opponents playing Denmark in Copenhagen three days previous.
Denmark have already been forced to omit seven UK-based players for their friendly against Sweden, calling up replacements from other leagues, including three Midtjylland players.
UEFA regulations state that Midtjylland vs. Liverpool would be required to be played in a neutral venue if it cannot be held in Denmark.
There is a possibility that the government grants an exemption for elite sportspeople in the coming days, but it remains a worrying situation for Liverpool.
Klopp will be hoping to have already guaranteed progress to the last 16 by then, with Atalanta and Ajax to play before Midtjylland, but he will also be desperate to avoid a forfeit.
But this situation only further highlights the ridiculousness of international and continental fixtures going ahead as the pandemic continues across the world, with there a high risk of further cases among players in the coming weeks as needless travel continues.