England risk being kicked out of the World Cup under barmy Labour border plans
ENGLAND risk being kicked out of the World Cup under barmy Labour border plans.
Sir Keir Starmer wants arrivals from every country to spend ten days in hotel quarantine.
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There would be no exemptions for Three Lions aces.
Currently, the measures will apply to 33 countries and there are no exemptions for elite sports stars coming from nations where quarantining in hotels is required.
But if the proposals were expanded under Labour's plans, England’s World Cup qualification games in Poland, San Marino and Albania would have to be forfeited.
Gareth Southgate’s team would be handed a 3-0 loss in each game, severely denting their chances of qualifying for Qatar 2022.
If the games did go ahead, they’d risk the Premier League’s wrath as stars would be held for ten days in hotels on their return.
The move would also throw the Euros, the Premier League, the Champions League, rugby’s Six Nations and the new Formula 1 season into chaos.
MPs will vote on Labour’s proposal which lists one exemption to the blanket ban — for hauliers.
Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “By quarantining all arrivals, we can help protect vaccines against new strains.”
But the Premier League has worked hard to make teams Covid secure, with players often travelling in bubbles.
A Tory Party spokesman said: “Labour’s plan to put 20,000 people a day in hotels is implausible.”
An insider said: “All sports have the strictest covid protocols but if these measures were introduced British teams in Europe have a real headache over how to compete.
“That in turn would have financial implication, as well as issues over future qualification.”
The source added the measures would impact the “already truncated” season which needs to finished before the delayed Euros this summer – which would also be affected by the measures, as Wembley stadium hosts all three England group games, the semi-finals and final.
Motor racing would also be affected, with the Formula 1 season set to start in weeks in Bahrain.
Races in “red listed” Brazil and Abu Dhabi are taking place at the end of the year, when organisers hope restrictions have been lifted.
A Formula 1 spokesman said: “Last year we proved we could compete safely with over 80,000 tests and 0.1 per cent positives.
“We employ over 40,000 both directly and indirectly through supply chains and have over 25,000 highly skilled engineers.
“We cannot operate if we cannot travel and the elite sport exemption is quite simply keeping our sport and others going and saving jobs.”
A Whitehall source said: “So long as we remain confident on public health grounds, we’d support players travelling to compete.
“A blanket ban would effectively stop us playing in international competitions and be devastating for sports’ finances.
“At various points Labour have tried to disrupt sport continuing through covid, whereas the government has done everything it can to keep it going safely”.
A Labour spokesman said: “Labour's proposals outlined do include scope for exemptions, we have asked the Government to provide all of the basis or the decisions around exemptions.
“Every effort should be made to allow elite international sport to continue, through quarantine exemption, although the key priority has to be against importing a strain of the virus that is resistant to the vaccine.”
The Premier League declined to comment.
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