The Chelsea-Zenit match has not yet been played, but is being discussed with might and main. Will our club be admitted to London?
You’ve probably read the news about the urgent return of Zenith legionnaires to Russia. It sounds absurd, but Malcolm and Claudinho got on the return plane just a couple of days after arriving at the location of the Brazilian national team. They did not even have time to listen to Tite’s pre-match installation on the eve of the game with Chile. A signal came from Zenit: pack your things and fly to St. Petersburg. The club planned to do the same trick with Vilmar Barrios , but in Colombia they simply did not let the player go and forced him to play with Bolivia. And perhaps they will be delayed for one more match.
Agree, from the outside it looks almost like a racketeer. First, Zenit let the players go, and then they urgently take them away. But the reasons for this are very good: the likelihood of non-participation in the most important game with Chelsea is too high. It’s all about the antiquity rules of Great Britain. For them, people in Brazil or Colombia (red zone) are potentially aggressive covid-distributors. It doesn’t matter if you have a vaccine or a bunch of antibodies. You definitely can’t get to the UK without a ten-day quarantine in a special hotel. Accordingly, Malcolm, Claudinho and Barrios, if they played for the national teams until the end of next week, would definitely miss the match against Chelsea. Most likely, they would simply not be allowed into the country.
And this story completely violates all kinds of charters about wrestling. While the Brazilian Football Federation is asking FIFA to punish Zenit, the players and the whole world, St. Petersburg is trying to figure out what to do with that match in London. Despite the fact that Russia is in the yellow zone for the British, Chelsea cannot yet provide any guarantees that there will be no problems at the border. After all, only Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are recognized in the country, and no one knows if Sputnik / negative test will become a quick pass to normal life. Last season, due to tight restrictions, the Londoners had already played the quarterfinals on a neutral pitch – against Porto in Seville. And the same “Liverpool” played the match of 1/8 finals of the Champions League with “Leipzig” in Budapest.
It would seem that there is nothing easier – transfer the game to conditional Budapest, and no one will have any problems. But UEFA is sure to have a dilemma – on the one hand, the current Cup holders, on the other, the club sponsored by Gazprom – not the last company for the Champions League.
The deadline for the decision to admit Zenit to London was held yesterday at noon. UEFA is silent. New deadline today. And UEFA can no longer stand aside. If the game is not transferred from London, and Chelsea do not agree on admission with the government, then the meeting will most likely be missed by Barrios, who has not yet been released from the national team.
Another option is a neutral field.
And the strangest one is the technical defeat of Chelsea if Zenit is deployed at the border on the day of the match.
And why then does UEFA work in principle?