Brazil-Argentina qualifier suspended after health officials enter pitch
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Six Premier League clubs are facing an anxious wait to find out if they can use their Brazilian international players this weekend when club football returns. Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Leeds and Everton all refused to release their stars for World Cup qualifiers back in South America as the players would have to quarantine upon arrival back in the UK.
Tottenham and Aston Villa have found out the hard way after Giovani Lo Celso, Cristian Romero, Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia were at the centre of huge controversy in Brazil on Sunday night.
The local authorities requested the deportation of the quartet after failed to comply with quarantine regulations upon arrival in Brazil.
Rules state that any individual who has been in the UK within the past two weeks must isolate for 14 days upon arrival.
Just minutes into Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Brazil, health officials and local police stormed the field to detain the wanted Premier League stars.
The incident has only increased the urgency to find a resolution as to how South American players can represent their countries while ensuring they do not miss significant amounts of games at club level.
Alisson, Fabinho, Roberto Firmino, Ederson, Gabriel Jesus, Thiago Silva, Fred, Raphinha and Richarlison were all prevented from joining up with the Selecao and now they could all be slapped with a five-day ban from FIFA.
Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Leeds and Everton are all still awaiting a verdict as they step up preparations for Premier League matches this weekend.
European Clubs’ Association chief executive Charlie Marshall wants a decision within the next 24 hours.
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“This has to be sorted it out within the next 24 hours,” said Marshall. “Liverpool and the other clubs need to know if they can play their Brazilians or not.
“If Fifa is not going to sanction the clubs then they need to tell them.”
Marshall is adamant European clubs should be receiving support from FIFA as opposed to being punished.
“We don’t think there should be sanctions because if a player has to quarantine he is unavailable to immediately play for his club again, so it would be longer than the agreed release period,” he added.
“We asked Fifa to extend the exception for players having to be released for international duty but they chose not to.”
Newcastle, Watford and Wolves will all be punished this weekend following complaints from the Paraguayan, Chilean and Mexican football governing bodies.
In the meantime, the affected Premier League clubs will have to think about potentially playing without their Brazilian internationals this weekend until a decision has been made.
Those who did return to South America to represent the likes of Argentina and Colombia are set to miss at least two matches.
Tottenham, for example, have laid on specialist quarantine plans for Lo Celso, Romero and Davinson Sanchez who are spending time in Croatia.
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