FIFA have agreed to lift a proposed five-day ban on Premier League players who were blocked from travelling to South America for World Cup qualifiers by their clubs.
Many English sides broke FIFA protocols and refused to release their South American internationals amid concerns that any player involved would be forced to serve a ten-day quarantine period upon their return – therefore missing a handful of domestic matches.
Clubs are not permitted to block international call-ups, and as a result, FIFA were looking to punish the teams in question by banning their South American stars for five days.
Liverpool trio Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino, Manchester City duo Ederson and Gabriel Jesus, Chelsea’s Thiago Silva, Manchester United’s Fred and Leeds’ Raphinha were among those facing suspensions, but the AP report that FIFA have reneged on the proposed suspension.
There had been rumours that the affected Premier League clubs would boycott the ban and play their stars anyway, despite talks opening between the league, FIFA and the international sides in question. A positive outcome had already been reached with Paraguay, Mexico and Chile.
Those three nations had initially complained to FIFA after Newcastle’s Miguel Almiron, Wolves’ Raul Jimenez and Watford’s Francisco Sierralta failed to report for international duty, but those concerns were dropped.
Things had been further complicated by Brazil after they declined to push for a punishment for Everton forward Richarlison; instead allowing the Toffees to keep their player as a show of thanks for their decision to free him up for the Olympics this summer.
All differences have now been put to one side, though one wonders what will happen in future international breaks.