Fifa blocks Premier League clubs from selecting Brazilian players for five days
A total of eight players, from Chelsea (Thiago Silva), Liverpool (Alisson, Roberto Firmino, Fabinho), Manchester City (Ederson, Gabriel Jesus), Manchester United (Fred), and Leeds United (Raphinha), will all be affected by the ban.
WATCH: Firmino's fantastic dinked goal for Brazil
Under Fifa regulations, players who are not released for an international window can be banned for five days after the window ends – in this instance, this will cover the period from Sept 10 – 14, although United fans will likely be hoping for Fred’s ban to extend a little longer, perhaps all the way till the end of the season.
The bans, which were invoked at the request of the Brazilian FA, came as the EPL stopped players from joining up with the national teams if it meant having to travel to red-list countries, such as Brazil.
Players travelling to red-list countries would have had to serve a 10-day isolation period under the United Kingdom’s (UK) rules. Fifa president Gianni Infantino had previously requested for the UK government to provide footballers with special exemptions to this rule, because playing football professionally evidently gives players special immunity against the COVID-19 virus.
According to the BBC, Everton forward Richarlison was spared Brazil’s petty wrath, as the Toffees had allowed him to play at the recently-concluded Olympic Games in Tokyo, despite not being bound by Fifa regulation to release him for duty.
WATCH: Richarlison shows off Olympic gold medal at Everton training
It is believed that the affected EPL clubs are considering the situation, and will attempt to negotiate with Fifa to reconsider their decision.
The swift and decisive action taken by Fifa over this matter comes as something of a surprise, considering that they usually drag their feet over meting out punishment for what we can now safely assume they consider to be less severe transgressions, like racism and corruption.
While Liverpool will be affected the most by the ban, there was some at least some good news for the Reds, as defender Virgil van Dijk confirmed that the ankle injury he sustained on international duty was no cause for concern.
The Dutch captain - who missed the majority of last season with Pickforditis - went down holding his ankle in the Netherland’s 6-1 World Cup qualifier win over Turkey, but after game, reportedly told local media that he was “already over it”.
WATCH: Van Dijk's road to recovery
Van Dijk subsequently tweeted that he was looking forward to returning to Liverpool, as he wrote: “Proud captain today, great performance all round. What a great atmosphere too! Now time to head back to Liverpool and prepare for a tough couple of weeks ahead.”