We will take our players! Manchester City and Liverpool could lose their South American stars for the title run-in with Brazil set to call up all of their Premier League players for March’s World Cup qualifiers
- Man City and Liverpool could lose their South American stars for the title run-in
- Brazil will call up all of their Premier League stars for the World Cup qualifiers
- Liverpool have Brazilians Roberto Firmino, Alisson and Fabinho in their squad
- Meanwhile, Manchester City could lose Ederson, Fernandinho and Gabriel Jesus
Brazil are set to spark a major club-versus-country row by calling up all of their Premier League stars for upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Manchester City and Liverpool could lose their South American stars for matches in the title race if they are forced to travel to play in the international break in March.
All of the continent’s FIFA members are among 30 clubs the Government have added to a ‘red list’ which requires travellers to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days. Crucially, there are no legal provisions to exempt elite sportsmen this time. This all coincides with World Cup games in March that includes Brazil hosting Argentina.
Liverpool could be without their Brazilian players for the title run-in this season
Manchester City could also be affected with Brazil set to call up all their Premier League stars for March’s World Cup qualifiers
Roberto Firmino (centre) and Gabriel Jesus (right) are two mainstays with the Brazil squad
Rules usually dictate that a club must release a player if he is called up for duty by his country but FIFA announced in September that, for the rest of the year, clubs would not be obliged to do so if travelling
Top clubs set to lose their stars for title run-in amid World Cup qualifier row would require the player to quarantine for ‘at least five days’. The governing body are yet to confirm whether those rules still apply, though with cases of Covid-19 rising, Premier League clubs are expecting to be allowed to keep hold of their stars.
Yet FIFA are under mounting pressure from international federations as they bid to ensure they remain at full strength for World Cup games.
City would lose goalkeeper Ederson (left) while Liverpool would also lose Alisson (right)
Sources close to the Brazilian federation say they expect clubs to have to release their players and have no concerns about calling up the likes of Alisson, Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus. It is understood that the Argentinian federation have also yet to be warned they may miss out on key players.
How it will be resolved remains to be seen but authorities are likely to face fury from both sides as, unless games are rescheduled or travel restrictions are lifted or exemptions given, either club or country will have to play key games without their stars.
If players travel to South America to play, they are not set to return until April 1 at the earliest. This would see them miss two rounds of Premier League action (April 3 and April 10) as well as the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final on April 6-7 and they would also be doubts for the return fixture on April 13-14, having been unable to train outside their hotel room in quarantine.
If players travel to South America they will not be due back until April 1 and quarantine rules could see them miss key fixtures
Manchester United face Tottenham, Manchester City go to Leicester and Liverpool face Arsenal across those two Premier League weekends.
Portugal have also been added to the red list and the European champions are set to host Azerbaijan on March 24.
Manchester United talisman Bruno Fernandes would face 10 days of isolation, while Wolves have eight Portuguese players in their squad, including Rui Patricio, Joao Moutinho and Pedro Neto.
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