Premier League players held out of World Cup qualifiers cleared to play after threat of ban
Premier League players from Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Paraguay have been cleared to feature for their clubs this weekend.FotMob - about 2 months ago
Central and South American players who were barred from travelling to World Cup qualifiers by their Premier League teams will be available this weekend after their countries backed down from a request to ban them under FIFA rules.
Players from Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Paraguay are cleared to play as their national federations agreed late Friday to waive a measure that would have compelled the players to sit out after their clubs refused to release them for international duty.
Premier League teams last month decided to prevent players from nations on the United Kingdom's COVID-19 "red list" to participate in Qatar 2022 qualifiers, citing the UK's requirement that people who have travelled to those countries quarantine for 10 days upon their return.
There had been some indications earlier Friday that the players might be available, but official word did not come down until shortly before midnight London time.
Brazilians now available to their clubs Saturday include Ederson and Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City, Chelsea's Thiago Silva and Manchester United's Fred.
Among players from other nations involved, Wolves can use Mexico's Raul Jimenez on Saturday, while Newcastle United will have Paraguay's Miguel Almiron available, and Watford can play Chile's Francisco Sierralta.
"Based on positive signals and constructive dialogue FIFA has received from the UK government towards the international match window in October, recognising that players have no control over the extreme situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and sanitary restrictions currently imposed and, as a sign of good faith, goodwill and cooperation, the member associations of Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Paraguay, in close consultation with FIFA, have taken the decision to withdraw their complaints in relation to the England-based players, and players bound to play in England, who were not released for the recent international matches," FIFA's statement said.
"On 8 September 2021, the FIFA President, The FA Interim Chair and Premier League Chair sent a joint letter to the UK Prime Minister. The UK government is now open to find a reasonable solution with the three organisations, who are working closely together in a spirit of mutual understanding, in the interests of everyone."
Liverpool will be most relieved, with Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino cleared to face Raphina and Leeds United on Sunday.
Earlier Friday, Jurgen Klopp said at a news conference that he hoped a solution could be reached for the benefit of all parties involved.
"It is a really difficult situation and really tricky for all the clubs, and the players especially," Klopp said. "We should not forget at this moment that the players wanted to play these games, the clubs wanted to let the players go but it was not possible."