Chelsea could have avoided risking the fitness of new signing Hakim Ziyech by taking a similar stance to Ajax regarding international call-ups.

In normal circumstances, football clubs are obliged to allow players to join their respective national teams.

But we’re not living in normal times.

FIFA announced earlier this month it would allow clubs to forbid players from travelling to international matches if they had to visit countries facing quarantine restrictions.

Chelsea Pre-Season Training

(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Ajax have made use of this temporary ruling and prevented several of their players, including Morocco’s Noussair Mazraoui and Zakaria Labyad, from leaving on international duty.

While it remains unclear whether Ziyech will have to undergo self-isolation when he returns to London, Chelsea could have avoided risks by following in Ajax’s footsteps.

Given his recent knee injury, it would be understandable if Ziyech missed out on Morocco’s friendlies against Senegal on Friday (9 October) and DR Congo on Tuesday (13 October).

From recent training pictures posted by the Moroccan FA on social media, it’s fair to say Ziyech hasn’t fully recovered from his injury – he was still wearing a knee support.

Not to mention the obvious risk of covid-19 with one of Ziyech’s Morocco teammates, Nail Dirar, recently leaving the national team’s training camp after testing positive for the virus, according to Moroccan outlet Hibapress.

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