BRAZIL have DEMANDED Prem clubs release players selected for this week’s World cup qualifiers – despite top flight chiefs insisting they will not let them go.
Club bosses agreed ‘unanimously’ last week they would NOT be releasing players to travel to ‘red list’ countries – including South America and large areas of Africa – because of Covid quarantine regulations.
Four Argentina internationals have left England to play for their countryCredit: Instagram @cutiromero2
And now Brazil want their Premier League stars for the upcoming fixturesCredit: AP:Associated Press
The laws would require all players returning from affected nations to undergo strict hotel quarantine periods for ten days after their return.
But four Argentine stars flew to Buenos Aires on Sunday evening, posting pictures on Instagram of them together on board a flight.
Argentina are due to play in Venezuela in the early hours of Friday morning (UK time) before travelling to Sao Paulo to play Brazil on Sunday.
The newly crowned Copa America champions also have a home game against Bolivia on Thursday.
And Brazilian FA chiefs are using their game against Argentina as a wedge to force the six Prem sides with selected players to let their stars go.
In emails sent to all six Prem clubs involved, the Brazilian FA have effectively ordered the players be released.
They argue that Spurs and Villa complied with Fifa regulations in letting their players leave for international duty and that the other Prem sides have no alternative but to follow suit or face the consequences.
Liverpool are the most affected, with Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino included in Tite’s squad for their games with Chile, Argentina and Peru.
The players face the prospect of being ruled out of Prem games with Leeds and Crystal Palace either side of their Champions League opener against AC Milan.
Manchester City risk losing Ederson and Gabriel Jesus for ten days after their return – and matches with Leicester, Leipzig and Southampton.
The other players are Chelsea’s Thiago Silva, Man United’s Fred, Leeds’ Raphinha – selected for the first time – and Everton’s Richarlison.
Fifa President Gianni Infantino has already called on the British Government to intervene and relax the quarantine requirements for the returning players.
But so far the clubs are determined to hold their ground and not be bullied into releasing players against their will as a result of the knock-on consequences for next month.
Prem CEO Richard Masters said: “Premier League clubs have always supported their players’ desires to represent their countries – this is a matter of pride for all concerned.
“However, clubs have reluctantly but rightly come to the conclusion that it would be entirely unreasonable to release players under these new circumstances.
Fifa boss Infantino has called on the UK government to relax their rulesCredit: Getty
“Quarantine requirements mean that players’ welfare and fitness will be significantly impacted.
“We understand the challenges that exist in the international match calendar and remain open to workable solutions.”
Several stars have revealed their disappointment with the decision, including Liverpool and Brazil hero Alisson Becker.
The 28-year-old told Sky Sports: “Honestly, I feel bad because I want to play for my national team. I want to play for Liverpool.
“I don’t want to get punished to make a decision but from what I know it’s not even a decision. We cannot choose too much in this moment.”
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