Albania is being considered as an alternative venue for England’s Nations League match against Iceland, according to Jack Pitt-Brooke and Luke Brown of The Athletic. Iceland play Denmark in Copenhagen three days before their scheduled trip to Wembley to play the Three Lions. However, the UK government has currently banned non-UK visitors arriving in the country from Denmark due to a new COVID-19 outbreak there.
England Nations League Match Against Iceland Could Be Played in Albania
Albania a Possible Venue for Nations League Clash
Back in August, UEFA came up with a group of ‘neutral venue hubs’ as part of their COVID-19 procedures, which state that games can be rescheduled or played at neutral grounds if necessary.
However, given how packed the calendar is at the moment, a neutral ground appears to be the only viable option.
And, of the neutral venue hubs, Albania have reportedly come forward and said they are willing to host the fixture.
Change in Rules
In the last few days, the UK government has imposed a ban on non-residents entering the country from Denmark after a new strain of COVID-19 that can be transferred to humans was found in mink.
UK residents can return from Denmark but must undergo a 14 day period of self-isolation, and this would include professional sportspeople.
It is understood that the travel ban and the need to self-isolate will be reviewed, but it will not be done in time to ensure the game can take place at Wembley.
In addition to this game potentially being moved, it was reported by The Athletic over the weekend that Premier League clubs have refused to release their players for international duty with squads travelling to Denmark.
Danish internationals Kasper Schmeichel, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Andreas Christensen, as well as Manchester United and Sweden defender Victor Lindelof, will be remaining with their clubs. However, Iceland and Arsenal goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson could be released if the game does end up being moved to Albania.