Central and South American players banned from travel to World Cup qualifiers by their Premier League teams will be available this weekend after their countries withdraw from a request for a ban under FIFA rules.
Players from Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Paraguay are eligible to play as their national associations agreed late Friday to waive a measure that would have forced the players to suspend after their clubs refused to accept them for international appearances dismiss.
Premier League teams decided last month to prevent players from nations on the UK’s COVID-19 “Red List” from participating in Qatar 2022 qualifiers.
There had been some indications on Friday that the players might be available but the official news didn’t come until just before midnight London time.
Brazilians available to their clubs on Saturday include Ederson and Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City, Thiago Silva of Chelsea and Fred of Manchester United.
Among the players from other nations involved, the Wolves will have Mexico’s Raul Jimenez on Saturday, while Newcastle will be available on Paraguay’s Miguel Almiron and Watford on Chile’s Francisco Sierralta
Liverpool will be most relieved as Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino face Raphina and Leeds on Sunday.
Jürgen Klopp said at a press conference on Friday that he hoped for a solution for the benefit of all concerned.
“It’s a really difficult situation and really difficult for all clubs and especially the players,” said Klopp. “We shouldn’t forget at this moment that the players wanted to play these games, the clubs wanted to let the players go, but it wasn’t possible.”