Everton striker Salomon Rondon. Picture: Michael Regan/Getty Images
The Venezuelan Football Federation (FVF) have released a statement explaining why Everton striker Salomon Rondon has been omitted from international duty.
Rondon will miss his country's World Cup qualifiers against Brazil (October 8), Ecuador (October 10) and Chile (October 15).
What’s been said
It comes as a disappointment to fans in the ex-Newcastle forward's home nation, with Giovanni Savarese's side bottom of the South American qualifying table.
Rondon also missed last month’s international break and is Venezuela’s all-time top scorer with 31 goals in 82 games.
The FVF claim it's because Rondon - who’s made five appearances for the Toffees since arriving on transfer deadline day - would have to quarantine for 10 days upon his return to England, with Venezuela on the Covid-19 travel red list.
The statement, translated into English from Spanish, said: “His club requested that the forward not attend the camp because he would have to be quarantined upon his return to England.
“Both parties agreed that the footballer did not need to attend the call.
“It should be noted that for the FVF the health of players is the most important, for this reason, the medical department was in constant communication with our colleagues from the clubs to find out the physical condition of each one and act accordingly.
“However, the final decision that they play in their respective teams belongs only to their coaches or the medical team of the club they represent. Therefore, the decision and its consequences are the responsibility from them.
“For the FVF it is our responsibility to take care of the integrity of the players regardless of the club's decision.
“Finally, we remind all teams that, according to the Regulations on the Statute and Transfer of Players (RETJ), that player release is mandatory for those matches that appear in the international calendar published by FIFA.
“We trust to count on your collaboration in this regard, to achieve, for each international break, a top-level national team, which represents the pride of our country.”
Who is on international duty?
Yerry Mina will travel to Colombia despite the country also being on the red list.
However, Everton boss Rafa Benitez said before Saturday's 1-1 draw at Manchester United it was because the centre-back is double vaccinated.
The government is expected to ease rules for footballers returning from international duty. Players last month who jetted off the red-list country had to quarantine.
Meanwhile, Jordan Pickford will link up with England and Lucas Digne is set to jet off with France.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is not on Three Lions duty as he continues his comeback from injury, along with Richarlison (Brazil), Seamus Coleman (Republic of Ireland), Alex Iwobi (Nigeria) and Andre Gomes (Portugal).
Meanwhile, Anthony Gordon - who started against United - heads off with England under-20s and Lewis Dobbin goes off with the under-19s after coming off the bench at Old Trafford.