6 England Internationals May Be Forced Out Of Chelsea-Man City US Friendlies: The Nightly EPL

Six members of the England national team may be forced out of the two Chelsea and Manchester City friendlies scheduled to be played in St Louis and New York City in late May.

Since England’s chances of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup are at risk after the national team drew against Montenegro last week, England manager Roy Hodgson is under pressure to turn his team around. Before their next World Cup qualifying match this autumn, England have two friendlies — one against Ireland at Wembley on May 29, followed by a game against Brazil on June 2.

To ensure that Hodgson has his players available for these important friendlies, Hodgson is reportedly considering invoking the FIFA rule that players must prioritize commitments over club games.

“As far as I understand it, quite simply the period of time in May and June are Fifa dates,” Hodgson said. “When there are Fifa dates and international matches the first call on the players is for the international teams.”

“As far as I’m concerned these are two bona fide matches and a lot of other teams in this period of time are actually playing qualifiers so I don’t think I need to have any worries as to whether the players I select will come and play for England because they are aware that we need to prepare well for the autumn internationals,” added Hodgson.

Under FIFA regulations, players must report for international duty no later than 48 hours before a game is due to take place. England’s May 29 friendly against Ireland is six days after Chelsea plays Manchester City in St Louis. Meanwhile, England’s June 2 friendly against Brazil is seven days after Chelsea’s May 26 match against Manchester City at Yankee Stadium in New York City.

While those dates are greater than 48 hours, players would still have to travel from the United States back to England, and would run the risk of suffering injuries in the US friendly matches.

The six England internationals who could be affected are Joe Hart, James Milner, Joleon Lescott, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill.

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