Up to 11 players, including eight from Brazil, face being banned from playing in the Premier League this weekend after failing to report for international duty during the current break. The players in question can be forbidden from representing their clubs for a period of five days, starting from Friday 10 September, for breaching Fifa’s rules.
The Brazilian Football Association (CBF) made the request to Fifa after being unable to select Liverpool trio Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino, Manchester City pair Ederson and Gabriel Jesus, Fred (Manchester United), Raphinha (Leeds) and Thiago Silva (Chelsea), for World Cup qualifiers against Chile, Argentina and Peru. Fred and Silva could also miss Manchester United and Chelsea’s Champions League games on Tuesday.
Wolves’ Mexican striker Raul Jimenez, Watford’s Chilean defender Francisco Sierralta and Newcastle’s Paraguayan forward Miguel Almiron could also be unavailable for selection for the same reason, after the same complaints were made by their respective associations.
CBF has reportedly shown leniency to Everton and their forward Richarlison, however, as he helped Brazil win gold at the Tokyo Olympics when under no obligation to take part in the competition.
Prior to the international break, the Premier League announced that its 20 clubs had “reluctantly but unanimously” decided to not let their players travel to countries that are on the UK government’s red list for travel as they would have been required to quarantine for 10 days upon their return.
“Players have to be registered with their local football association and the terms of that registration is that they have to abide by Fifa’s rules and regulations so Fifa has a degree of control over the players,” Stephen Taylor Heath, a sports lawyer at JMW Solicitors, told i.
The clubs impacted have the support of the European Club Association and are in discussions with the Premier League and Football Association to try to find a resolution before this weekend’s matches.
According to Taylor Heath, however, clubs that choose to field players who have been banned could be penalised with a 3-0 defeat. It is unclear what sanctions could be imposed if both clubs picked a banned player in the same game, as could happen when Leeds play Liverpool on Saturday.
“The daft thing about it is that because of the way regulations are at the moment, if the clubs had released the players, they would have been out of action for longer than they are for taking this punishment,” he said.
“The clubs have probably thought that the worst that can happen is this five-day temporary suspension which is better than the players facing 10 days of quarantine and then having to get their fitness back.”
Cristian Romero, Giovani Lo Celso and Davinson Sanchez are unavailable to play in Tottenham’s game against Crystal Palace on Saturday, while Aston Villa are without Emi Martinez and Emi Buendia for their game with Chelsea after they travelled to South America to play for their countries.