European Clubs' Association chief executive Charlie Marshall has asked FIFA to sort out the suspensions quickly against the Premier League players. This comes in light of potential suspensions and sanctions aimed at players after their clubs refused to release the players for World Cup qualifiers.
While Argentina vs Brazil’s ill-fated game was stopped less than seven minutes after it kicked off, the drama had already begun more than a week ago. This came after the Premier League took a stance to stop their players from participating in the international break, especially those who would be forced to visit red-list countries. It saw FIFA and UEFA both step into the battle although FIFA threatened suspensions against the players and sanctions against the clubs.
That includes Liverpool trio Alisson, Fabinho, and Roberto Firmino, and Manchester City's Ederson and Gabriel Jesus with the five on the list of nine Brazilian players who didn’t take part. But they aren’t the only ones as Wolves, Blackburn Rovers, and Watford also will lose players after the Chilean, Mexican, and Paraguayan associations all made complaints. But since the final decision rests with FIFA, the clubs haven’t been informed if the men have been suspended or not.
It has seen many fans and especially the clubs concerned as the international break inches closer towards its end and Charlie Marshall believes that FIFA needs to make a decision soon. The European Clubs' Association chief executive asserted that this needs to be sorted out “within the next 24 hours” as the clubs need to prepare for the weekend games. He also added that if FIFA isn’t going to fine/suspend the clubs, then “they need to tell them”.
"This has to be sorted it out within the next 24 hours. Liverpool and the other clubs need to know if they can play their Brazilians or not. If Fifa is not going to sanction the clubs then they need to tell them," Marshall said, reported the BBC.
Aston Villa were one of the few clubs that did allow players to go, with Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia a part of the game against Brazil. But there are conflicting reports as to whether Tottenham let both Cristian Romero and Giovani lo Celso leave although three of the four were involved in the game. Yet given the circumstances and the UK’s stringent COVID-19 protocols, it saw Marshall admit that FIFA needs to take that into consideration and show a little sympathy.
"We don't think there should be sanctions because if a player has to quarantine he is unavailable to immediately play for his club again, so it would be longer than the agreed release period. We asked Fifa to extend the exception for players having to be released for international duty but they chose not to,” he added.