The Premier League’s contingent of Brazil internationals have all been cleared to play this weekend after their national association backed down in their bid to enforce a five-day playing ban.
Six Premier League clubs decided not to release their Brazilian stars for the current international break. Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Leeds and Everton did so. They had concerns over their players travelling to a country on the UK government’s coronavirus red list, which would have forced quarantine.
But in doing so, that angered the Brazilian FA. They asked FIFA to enforce the rule that can failure to release players can result in a five-day suspension.
That would have meant Liverpool being without Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino – who is nursing an injury – for Sunday’s trip to Leeds.
Leeds are also affected, with Raphinha having been expected to miss the match at Elland Road.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have missed Fred, while Thiago Silva will have been ineligible for Chelsea’s clash with Aston Villa. The Chelsea and United stars would also have missed their clubs’ opening Champions League games on Tuesday.
And finally, Manchester City would have been without goalkeeper Ederson and Gabriel Jesus ahead of their match against Leicester.
However, there was widespread anger at the decision.
Premier League bosses reacted angrily to the situation as it continued to develop on Friday, as they remained unsure whether they would be able to field some of their biggest names in the weekend’s fixtures.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer called it a “farce” and “a lose, lose, lose situation for everyone – national teams, players, clubs”.
Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel also had some strong words to say.
Guardiola described the situation as “crazy”, while Tuchel added: “It makes no sense from which side you look at it. Does it make sense for Brazil? No. Does it make sense for us? No.”
Talks prevail just 12 hours before kick-off
Everton forward Richarlison, however, was due to avoid the five-day ban. That’s after the Brazilian Football Confederation looked upon his situation differently following his involvement at the Olympics.
However,following extensive talks with FIFA, the FA and the Premier League, the associations of Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Paraguay agreed to waive the automatic five-day restriction they had the option of imposing.
However, a resolution finally arrived late on Friday night. That’s little more than 12 hours before the weekend’s fixtures kick off.
The ruling is also good news for a number of other clubs. Wolves and Mexico forward Raul Jimenez and Newcastle’s Paraguay midfielder Miguel Almiron are free to play. Watford’s Francisco Sierralta of Chile is also now available too.