Brazil at war with six Premier League clubs after demanding nine stars are released for World Cup qualifiersAugust 31, 2021
BRAZIL are at war with six clubs after demanding nine stars are released for World Cup qualifiers this week.
Premier League sides agreed ‘unanimously’ last week not to release players to red-list countries owing to ten-day Covid quarantine regulations.
Brazil play Chile, Argentina and Peru, and their FA have written to both Manchester clubs, Chelsea, Liverpool, Leeds and Everton to order their players be released.
Unless an unlikely peace deal is brokered, Brazil are set to ask Fifa to step in and insist on releases — with clubs facing punishment if they refuse.
Despite last week’s agreement, Aston Villa’s Emi Martinez and Emi Buendia, plus Tottenham duo Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso all jetted to Argentina on Sunday.
Brazil argue Spurs and Villa complied with Fifa regulations and that other sides have no alternative but to follow suit.
However, other Prem clubs are refusing to bend because returning players would be forced to isolate — ruling them out of at least two Prem games and the opening round of the Champions League.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, who blocked Mo Salah from going away with Egypt, made it clear he could not afford to see his players lose fitness by being unable to train properly in quarantine.
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Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino were all included in Tite’s squad although the latter picked up a hamstring injury at the weekend.
Players risk missing additional games on top of their next Prem games with Leeds and Crystal Palace either side of a Champions League opener against AC Milan.
Manchester City would lose Ederson and Gabriel Jesus for matches with Leicester, Southampton and RB Leipzig.
Chelsea defender Thiago Silva, Manchester United midfielder Fred, Leeds striker Raphinha — selected for the first time for his country — and Everton’s Richarlison would also miss games.
Villa believed they had struck a deal for Martinez and Buendia to miss Argentina’s game with Bolivia and therefore only miss a clash with Chelsea.
But Argentina appear to have backtracked on that agreement — and now want the pair to play in all three matches.
Martinez and Buendia joined Spurs’ Romero and Lo Celso on the flight back home on Sunday, posting social media pictures of themselves together on board, ahead of their first game with Venezuela on Friday.
HOLDING THEIR GROUND
Villa and Tottenham both accepted they could not force the players to stay in the UK, despite Prem clubs’ stance.
Fifa president Gianni Infantino has already called on the British Government to intervene and relax the quarantine requirements for the returning players.
But clubs are determined to hold their ground and not be bullied into releasing players against their will as a result of the knock-on consequences for next month.
Unless a compromise is found, Prem clubs face the same problem in October and November for the African Nations Cup.
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