Romelu Lukaku is set to miss Belgium’s World Cup Qualifier against Wales this month after Inter Milan stopped their players going on international duty because of a coronavirus outbreak at the club.
Belgium host Wales on Wednesday, March 24 in Group E, while the decision by the Serie A club will also impact Italy, who are due to play at home against Northern Ireland on March 25 in Group C.
The two-week international break begins after the weekend’s domestic games when European national teams are set to kick off their World Cup qualifying campaigns, with most teams playing three matches.
Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen, Croatia pair Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic, and Italy defender Matteo Darmian could all be impacted.
Inter’s Serie A match at home to Sassuolo on Saturday was postponed after two more positive Covid-19 cases at the club.
Stefan de Vrij and Matias Vecino tested positive for the virus in the latest round of testing and are in quarantine.
Captain Samir Handanovic and Danilo D’Ambrosio also tested positive earlier this week and are in self-isolation at home.
Local health authorities requested that the Sassuolo match be cancelled.
“Having been informed of the new positive cases, the ATS of Milan (health authority) has decided on the immediate suspension of any type of team activity for four days, including Sunday 21 March,” said an Inter statement.
“Players are prohibited from fulfilling any call-ups to their respective national teams.
“On Monday 22 March, the whole team will be re-swabbed and tested before the eventual resumption of activities.”
Inter are top of the Serie A standings, nine points clear of rivals AC Milan in second and 10 ahead of champions Juventus in third.
Meanwhile, French Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs will not release foreign players called up for their national sides if the teams are playing outside the European Union due to the strict Covid-19 quarantine rules.
FIFA said last month that clubs are not expected to release players if there is a “mandatory period of quarantine or self-isolation of at least five days upon arrival” in the country where the club is located or the country where the match is taking place.
Clubs are also not expected to release players if there are travel restrictions between the two countries or if specific exemptions have not been granted to players by the local authorities.