Klopp unsure if Brazilian players available as club v country row simmers


London (AFP) – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said Friday he still does not know whether he will be able to select Alisson Becker or Fabinho this weekend after the Brazilian Football Confederation asked FIFA to ban the players.

The pair, plus Roberto Firmino — who is currently injured — were selected for this month’s World Cup qualifiers in South America but Premier League clubs refused to release players due to the 10-day coronavirus isolation period required on return to Britain.

Brazil football chiefs have asked global governing body FIFA to invoke a five-day suspension, the sanction for clubs not releasing their players.

Liverpool, fifth in the Premier League table after three matches, travel to Leeds on Sunday.

A number of other clubs including Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Leeds, are all affected.

Discussions continue, with Premier League clubs arguing the unprecedented circumstances of the global pandemic were sufficient justification for their decision.

“I don’t know what will happen at the weekend, to be honest,” Klopp told liverpoolfc.com.

“In this moment, we have to see what other people decide and then we will again accept that probably, do what people tell us and try to win a football game.”

Klopp, a consistently vocal opponent of the congested global football calendar, also criticised South American football authorities for their lack of foresight.

“We all know we are in the middle of a pandemic, which is difficult for all parts of life and for football it was difficult as well — we have a few more games to play than we have to play usually internationally,” he added.

“We had a summer break where all of a sudden somebody organised again a Copa America, where they could have played the games, for example, without playing a Copa America, which they had a year before.”

Klopp outlined the problems his players would faced had they travelled.

“Our players, if they come back then they have to quarantine 10 days in a random hotel, next to the airport probably, which is not good for any people who have to do that but for a professional football player, being 10 days in a hotel — with the food they get from there — you lose everything,” he said.

“You lose muscle, you lose everything. It means 10 days in the hotel, coming back (and) needing pretty much 10 days to get on track again.”

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