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Premier League Clubs Set To Be Without Key Players As Sanctions Loom

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The fallout from the abandoned Brazil vs.Argentina match just took its latest turn. The Brazilian FA has asked FIFA to enforce Article 5 of its enforcement rules.

 

The rule states that clubs who failed to release their players for the World Cup Qualifiers cannot field those players in matches that occur between the five-day period between September 10-14. This follows a similar line of action that has also been taken up by the football federations of Mexico, Paraguay, and Chile.

 

Though this was always likely to be the case, it marks yet another step in the escalating conflict between Premier League clubs and the different associations over letting players go during international breaks with strict quarantine rules in play.

 

WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?

Premier League clubs had already refused to release their South American players for this international break over those countries being in the “red-list.” This meant that those who returned would have to undergo mandatory quarantine for 10 days thereby getting behind on training and fitness regimes.

 

were the only club who gave open consent to their players Emi Martinez and Emi Buendia to join up with Argentina. That was also with the caveat of not letting them play the final qualifier against Bolivia. Spurs, on the other hand, had explicitly warned their Argentine contingent (Giovani Lo Celso, Cristian Romero) and Colombian defender Davinson Sanchez that they would be fined if they did go for national duty.

 

Nevertheless, the ensuing fracas just after the -Argentina game started has thrown future plans of both the clubs into a lurch. On top of having to isolate for 10 days which will see these players miss out on this weekend’s fixtures, Spurs might also be without the trio for their Europa Conference League tie against Rennes.

 

Villa CEO Christian Purslow had also stated that these kinds of incidents would make clubs even more wary of releasing players in the future. Furthermore, there is also the opening up of an investigation by ANVISA (Brazil’s health authority) against the four players for their involvement in the match without doing the quarantine that is necessary for travelers from the UK.

 

One thing is for certain, this altercation is not likely to die down anytime soon given there are international breaks coming up in October and November as well. The only saving grace would be if England moves the countries from its red-list by then.

 

NO RESPITE FOR THE OTHERS

With those two clubs’ fate being known ever since suspension of the match, now it came down to what happens with the rest of the teams. It was evident that the enforced punishment rule would be invoked and FIFA now has little choice but to comply. The players who will be affected thus are:

 

  • Gabriel Jesus, Ederson (Manchester City)
  • Alisson, Fabinho, Roberto Firmino ()
  • Thiago Silva ()
  • Fred (Manchester United)
  • Raphinha (Leed United)
  • Raul Jimenez (Wolves)
  • Miguel Almiron (Newcastle United)
  • Francisco Sierralta (Watford)

 

Everton attacker Richarlison has been exempted after he was allowed to play for the Selecao at the Olympics, even when it was not strictly necessary. The five-day period would be extra damaging for Chelsea and Manchester United given they also have their Champions League matches on Tuesday next week.

 

Though it is not an ideal scenario for any party involved, escaping without any consequences would have been too far-fetched, especially after the UK government rejected FIFA’s request of providing exemption to these players. Clubs, quite rightly, were hesitant to miss out on their stars for 10 days and then some more, especially with them having to get back to speed.

 

WHAT OF THIS WEEKEND?

There are going to be some major absentees this weekend and some sanctions-hit teams even face each other. Manchester City visit Leicester as they seek to win a third game on the trot, while in-form Chelsea host Aston Villa. League leaders Spurs are away to Crystal Palace and Leeds take on Liverpool with four first-team regulars missing combined. It will be interesting to see how the respective teams cope and what actions do FIFA take in order to prevent a repeat of this situation.





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