When France went into lockdown due to the coronavirus, several Paris Saint-Germain players decided to return to their home countries to self-quarantine with family and friends.
While no one will fault them for doing what they thought is best for their family, some players who left France could find themselves unable to return in time for when Ligue 1 and the UEFA Champions League resumes.
On Monday, President Emmanuel Macron announced that France’s lockdown will continue until May 11. In his televised address to the nation, Macron also added that borders with non-European countries will remain closed until further notice. Last Friday, it was reported that Macron told trade unions that it’s possible the borders could be shut until September.
That last part is obviously important because of the players who have left France, which includes Neymar Jr., Thiago Silva, Edinson Cavani, Mitchel Bakker, Mauro Icardi, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Thilo Kehrer, and Keylor Navas.
Of those players, Neymar, Cavani, and Navas are the ones who will be affected the most by Macron extending the travel ban as the other players are all isolated in European countries.
Macron also confirmed that all borders with non-EU countries will remain closed until further notice. This could pose problems for those non-EU players who have gone home – including Neymar and Thiago Silva.
— Jeremy Smith (@jeremysmith98) April 13, 2020
The Ligue 1 season is now expected to resume on June 17, so it’s possible the travel ban will be lifted by then and Neymar, Cavani, and Navas will be able to fly back in time to feature in those matches. Even if they miss a few matches, it wouldn’t be the end of the world as PSG hold a 12-point-lead over Olympique de Marseille.
The Champions League is obviously the more important competition right now as PSG reached the quarter-finals for the first time since 2016 by defeating Borussia Dortmund last month. That tournament is expected to resume in August, so there will be even more time to allow the travel ban to be lifted.
It’s certainly a question worth asking, though, especially if borders are shut until September. Would Neymar, Cavani, and Navas be allowed to travel back to France? The trio would be traveling from less-affected countries in Brazil, Uruguay, and Costa Rica, and they are residents of France even if they don’t hold a passport. However, they’re not as essential as doctors for example, so would they be exempt?
I’m sure the club is going through the proper channels right now to get an answer to these questions so they can plan accordingly.
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