Red-hot Alfredo Morelos won't have to face an exhausting World Cup double-header after all South American qualifiers were postponed this month.

The in-form Rangers striker would have been a certainty to be included in new Colombia manager Reinaldo Rueda's squad for their double-header against Brazil and Paraguay.

Morelos was one of a host of UK-based players who would have been extremely unlikely to be available anyway for the matches after FIFA agreed that clubs would not have to release players where there is a mandatory quarantine period of five days or more on return to their club.

On loan Celtic defender Diego Laxalt could also have been called up by Uruguay for their matches against Argentina and Bolivia later this month.

However, the South American Football Confederation, CONMEBOL has taken the decision out of the hands of the clubs after they decided to suspend the World Cup Qualifiers for Qatar 2022 amid concern over the Covid and quarantine restrictions.

A CONMEBOL statement said: "The decision is due to the impossibility of counting on all the South American players.

"FIFA will analyse the rescheduling of the round in coordination with CONMEBOL and the members associations."

Colombia boss Rueda revealed last month he had been in contact with Morelos and other UK-based players.

He said: "I have been having constant communication with all the players in the UK and they are all aware that of course, I want them in this squad for the start of the World Cup qualifiers.

"Sadly, because of the Covid measures taken by Governments, there is very little we can do about getting them over here for the two matches."