Soccer

Eight Brazilian Premier League players were restricted from playing

Brazil's coach Tite (C) is seen after employees of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) entered to the field during the South American qualification football match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 between Brazil and Argentina at the Neo Quimica Arena, also known as Corinthians Arena, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on September 5, 2021. - Brazil's World Cup qualifying clash between Brazil and Argentina was halted shortly after kick-off on Sunday as controversy over Covid-19 protocols erupted. (Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP) (Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images)
NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images

Brazilian football authorities have triggered a Fifa rule to stop eight international players from playing for their Premier League clubs. The bans result from Premier League teams refusing to release the Brazilian internationals due to COVID restrictions.

However, due to Fifa regulations, players not released for international duty can be subjected to a 5-day ban after the international window ends. The clubs that will miss players are Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, and Leeds United. 

Earlier this month, Premier League teams agreed they would not allow players to compete internationally in red-listed countries. Furthermore, Premier League teams disallowed players to travel to red-listed countries because they would miss several club fixtures upon returning to the UK.

Due to the 10-day quarantine for players returning from at-risk countries, the league agreed not to release players. 

While Brazilian players represent the most disallowed from competing in the Premier League, Mexico, Paraguay, and Chile's football federations have also leveled bans for their players. As a result, eight Premier League clubs will be missing players for league matches. 

Liverpool could be without stars Roberto Firmino, Alisson and Fabinho for their match against Leeds United. Leeds forward Raphinha will also miss the game. Additionally, Manchester City will be without Gabriel Jesus and Ederson for their game this weekend.

Brazil's Lucas Paqueta (3-L), Alex Sandro (4-L), goalkeeper Weverton (2-R) and Brazil's Lucas Verissimo (R) are seen after employees of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) entered to the field during the South American qualification football match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 between Brazil and Argentina at the Neo Quimica Arena, also known as Corinthians Arena, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on September 5, 2021. - Brazil's World Cup qualifying clash between Brazil and Argentina was halted shortly after kick-off on Sunday as controversy over Covid-19 protocols erupted. (Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP) (Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images)
NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images

An exception to the rule is Everton's Richarlison. After Everton allowed Richalison to play at the Olympic Games, Brazil will show them leniency as a result. Not all clubs are so lucky, unfortunately. 

On top of that, Premier League clubs Manchester United and Chelsea will be missing players for their Champions League games on Tuesday. Chelsea's Thiago Silva and Manchester United's Fred will likely miss Champions League fixtures early next week. 

More international drama to come

Clubs have now been notified of the situation by Fifa and are now considering the next steps. Negotiations between Fifa and Premier League teams are ongoing behind the scenes. With international fixtures coming again in October and November, Premier League teams have an incentive to find an agreement with Fifa.

Neither the clubs nor their countries want to see their players miss time. Whether they can agree remains to be seen.

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