EPL “Banned” Players Allowed to Play This Weekend after FIFA Knocked Down 5-day Restrictions
Premier League managers will be able to call on their red-listed stars this weekend after FIFA and the associations agreed to waive their automatic five-day restriction.
Players who did not travel to Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Paraguay for World Cup qualifiers were to be banned from this weekend’s matches. But, after extensive talks in the last 24 hours, the restrictions were lifted.
Manchester City’s Brazil duo Ederson and Gabriel Jesus traveled to Leicester with Pep Guardiola’s squad but, as late as Friday night, managers were uncertain on whether their South American stars could be picked.
The ban also applied to Liverpool trio Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino, Leeds’ Raphinha, Chelsea’s Thiago Silva and Manchester United’s Fred.
There was no word from FIFA until late on Friday, and it is understood they are working closely with the Premier League to find a solution with the UK Government to prevent a similar situation from recurring in the next international window in October.
“They are going to travel, ready to play”. Guardiola said in his pre-match press conference. ‘The problem is, I don’t understand the situation. It is crazy. Right now, I’m thinking they’ll play because I don’t have any other instructions.’
Firmino is ruled out by injury, but Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was also perplexed before the late change: ‘I have no idea when I can expect a solution.
‘I don’t know when I can make a decision. It would be nice if I could train with the team I want to play (against Leeds) on Sunday.’
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said: ‘Right now, Thiago is not out. Not officially. The chairman (Bruce Buck) is still in negotiations. I’m waiting for the final decision.’
Wolves’ Raul Jimenez is in line to start for Wolves at Watford after FIFA held talks with Mexico to clear the striker to play.
Jimenez was one of three other Premier League stars kept out by the same five-day rule, along with Paraguay forward Miguel Almiron and Watford’s Francisco Sierralta of Chile.