Liverpool, Man Utd stars among eight banned by FIFA over international break furore

Fabinho pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and CA Osasuna at Anfield

FIFA have agreed to a request from the Brazilian FA to ban eight Premier League stars, including from Liverpool, over the international break furore.

Six Premier League clubs decided not to release their Brazilian stars for the current international break. Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Leeds and Everton did so. They had concerns over their players travelling to a country on the UK government’s coronavirus red list, which would have forced quarantine.

Indeed, players would have to spend 10 days in a hotel upon their return. Not only would they miss matches, but training and fitness too.

The Daily Mirror has now reported that the Brazilian FA has asked football’s world governing body to enforce Article 5 regulations surrounding the refusal to release players over international breaks.

Five of the six clubs will therefore lose their stars for a five-day period from September 10-14.

Liverpool will be without Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino – who is nursing an injury – for Sunday’s trip to Leeds.

Leeds are also affected, with Raphinha missing the match at Elland Road.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will miss Fred, while Thiago Silva will not be eligible for Chelsea’s clash with Aston Villa. The Chelsea and United stars will also miss their clubs’ opening Champions League games on Tuesday.

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Meanwhile, Manchester City will be without goalkeeper Ederson and Gabriel Jesus ahead of their match against Leicester.

However, Everton can field Richarlison, despite him forming part of the group that did not travel to Brazil. The Brazilian FA feel the Toffees were co-operative in letting the striker go to the Olympics.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has proved a vocal critic of international breaks before. However, he took on board the fresh issues caused by the pandemic.

He said of a 10-day quarantine for players: “In 10 days – you can ask whoever you want: a doctor, a sports scientist – without any chance of moving, you lose muscle. That’s how it is, atrophy.”

Elsewhere, FIFA has enforced the same punishment on Mexico and Wolves striker Raul Jimenez, Watford’s Chile international Francisco Sierralta and Newcastle’s Paraguay star Miguel Almiron.

The Daily Mirror adds that Premier League clubs will appeal. They believe there is ‘no basis’ for action amid the extraordinary circumstances of the decision.

Brazil-bound stars still suffer

Argentina's Lionel Messi and Brazil's Neymar talk as the soccer game is interrupted by health authorities during a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at Neo Quimica Arena stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazi

Still, the Premier League players who did travel to Brazil during the international break have not fared much better.

Tottenham’s Argentina pair Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso, and Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia – although not in the matchday squad – were caught up in Sunday’s clash.

Police stormed the pitch and stopped the game, claiming the quartet had not quarantined.

As such, reports claim that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy felt unhappy at his players.


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