Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has called on the football authorities to urgently find a solution to the “problem” surrounding Brazilian Premier League players and potential quarantine regulations after international duty.
Two Reds stars, Alisson and Fabinho, were among eight Premier League-based players to be called up to the Brazil squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers.
However, under current UK Government regulations they would be required to quarantine for 10 days on their return because the South American country is currently on its coronavirus red list, an issue which saw Premier League clubs refuse to release their players earlier this month.
What did Klopp say?
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s Premier League trip to Brentford, Klopp said he remained hopeful talks would lead to a resolution.
“There must be a solution because we cannot just leave it like it is and say it's not a problem,” he said.
“Yes, it is a problem. I'm pretty sure the decisive people are working on that. In fact I know they are, but there is nothing decided yet as far as I'm concerned.”
Klopp questions scheduling
Even if his Brazilian players were able to avoid quarantine on their return to the UK, Klopp is still frustrated at the fixture schedule.
A third qualifier has been squeezed into the international break to catch up after matches were postponed because of Covid-19 earlier this year.
Brazil are scheduled to play Colombia, Venezuela and Uruguay over the break.
Their final match against Uruguay in Manaus kicks off at 1.30am UK time on Friday October 15, with Liverpool back in action against Watford at 12.30pm the following day.
“I expect them to go," added Klopp. “Obviously nobody thought about that [the scheduling] yet and it's a Liverpool problem, not a problem for anybody else.
“Good for Watford and all these kind of things, but I just don't know how you can do these things and nobody reacts on the schedule.
“The schedule is always a problem but it's like the TV guys and the Premier League just say, ‘Ok, that's how it is, they have to play.’
“Let's have a look at how we can sort that. It's another thing that's not good for the players and not good for the clubs as well. I hope on top of that the government comes up with a solution.”
The bigger picture
The Premier League clubs' refusal to let their South American players travel for the internationals earlier this month prompted the Brazilian, Paraguayan, Chilean and Mexican federations to enforce the "five-day rule," a FIFA directive which was designed to protect international teams from unnecessary, club-influenced withdrawals.
The complaints were eventually withdrawn following last-ditch talks between FIFA and the UK Government, with further talks promised ahead of the October international break.
The Brazil Football Federation’s football coordinator Juninho Paulista says discussions have taken place with FIFA, the Premier League and the UK Government.
But a solution has yet to be found, with a little over a week to go before players are expected to join up with their countries.