News that Chile have been invited to a tournament in China in January 2017 was not well received by the Arsenal fans, but it looks like Alexis will not be involved according to the FIFA rules.

Considering Alexis always comes back knackered from international duty or even injured as we have seen recently, it will be a big relief to the Arsenal fans to know that the Chilean forward should not be involved in a tournament played on the other side of the world.

So, what are the FIFA rules? We need to refer to the latest regulations on the status and transfer of players (2016 edition). Everything is written in Annex 1: Release of players to associations team.

1.

Clubs are obliged to release their registered players to the representative teams of the country for which the player is eligible to play on the basis of his nationality if they are called up by the association concerned. Any agreement between a player and a club to the contrary is prohibited.

2.

The release of players under the terms of paragraph 1 of this article is mandatory for all international windows listed in the international match calendar (cf. paragraphs 3 and 4 below) as well as for the final competitions of the FIFA World Cup™, the FIFA Confederations Cup and the championships for “A” representative teams of the confederations, subject to the relevant association being a member of the organising confederation

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5.

It is not compulsory to release players outside an international window or outside the final competitions as per paragraph 2 above included in the futsal international match calendar.

As seen in bold, clubs must release the players for all the international windows listed in the match calendar and all the finals. So let’s have a look at the 2017 international calendar:

calendar

As we can see, there is no international window for January 2017, meaning Arsenal are not obliged to release Alexis for that tournament. Considering there might be up to nine games to be played in January 2017, it is quite obvious that Arsenal will keep Alexis with the club as he will be needed in that busy period.