South America’s Prem stars won’t face FIFA ban


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Premier League clubs which blocked South American players from traveling to World Cup qualifiers will be able to play them this weekend after the threat of a five-day ban from FIFA was lifted on Friday.

Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Paraguay agreed to waive their right to trigger a FIFA regulation in what would have been a bid to prevent players from competing for their respective clubs in England’s top division this weekend.

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Those players were called up for World Cup qualifiers but didn’t travel after Premier League teams objected to them going to South American nations which are red-listed by the British government and require 10 days of mandatory hotel quarantine on their return.

FIFA is hoping the British government eases the quarantine requirements for players in time for the next set of World Cup qualifiers in October. There had been confusion among Premier League managers over the availability of their players throughout Friday until the assurances from FIFA.

The five-day restriction period would have started immediately after the international window which, for South America, ended on Thursday. It could also have taken in Champions League games next week.

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce already seemed sure Miguel Almiron was available to play against Manchester United on Saturday despite not going to Paraguay for games.

“A bit of common sense has prevailed,” Bruce said, “and he’s available for selection so we’re extremely pleased.”

Among the Brazilian players who were under threat of not playing in the Premier League this weekend were Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino at Liverpool; Ederson and Gabriel Jesus at Manchester City; Thiago Silva at Chelsea; and Fred at Manchester United.

United also has Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani available and Watford can field Chile defender Francisco Sierralta against Wolverhampton on Saturday.

The Premier League teams had said that if players went, they then would have to spend 10 days in hotel quarantine upon their return and have little chance of training.

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