EUROPEAN football faces a renewed threat — after government ministers vetoed a bid to exempt sports stars from a travel quarantine.
And that would scupper boss Pep Guardiola and Manchester City’s chances of winning a first Champions League title.
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Under Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s tough new coronavirus restriction, all new arrivals to the UK will have to isolate for 14 days.
That includes returning British nationals and residents, making international travel for players all-but impossible.
The bosses of elite sports initially persuaded Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to fight for an exemption.
But the Cabinet minister has been overruled by ministers at the Department of Health and Cabinet Office.
They now want to keep exemptions to a minimum, just for hauliers and diplomats.
A No 10 source said: “A final decision hasn’t been made — but we do want the regime to be robust.”
Downing Street added that the tough new quarantine rule will be reviewed every three weeks throughout the summer.
Uefa has drawn up a plan for finishing the Champions League in August — but the quarantine ruling would mean disaster for City and Chelsea, who are in the last 16.
Manchester United, Wolves and Rangers are all still in the Europa League.
It also spells bad news for Formula One because the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on July 19, celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, is likely to be cancelled too.
The rest of the season will then be plunged into grave doubt, as seven of its ten teams are based in the UK.
F1 last night warned the Government how a failure to exempt its drivers and teams from quarantine would wreak havoc on the sport.
A spokesman said: “A 14-day quarantine would make it impossible to have a British Grand Prix this year.
“It has a major impact on literally tens of thousands of jobs linked to F1 and the supply chains.
“If all elite sport is to return to TV, then exemptions must be provided.”
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