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Prem clubs warn stars won’t be released for games in red list countries next month after Brazil vs Argentina chaos

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PREMIER LEAGUE clubs have warned players will not be released to red list nations next month.

That’s the prediction of furious Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow after the chaos of Argentina’s abandoned World Cup qualifier in Brazil on Sunday.

AP

Emiliano Martinez is one of four Argentina players from the Premier League accused of breaking Covid quarantine rules[/caption]

AP

Brazilian health officials stormed the pitch during Brazil’s clash with Argentina[/caption]

The Argentinian four – Spurs pair Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero and Aston Villa duo Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia – were accused of breaking Covid quarantine rules.

The quartet were also accused of falsifying documents to enter the South American country illegally.

But the group were released from international duty by Argentina in Buenos Aires yesterday.

Now Purslow reckons the farcical scene will force top-flight clubs to act with two more international windows before the end of the year.

Purslow said: “What happened in Brazil on Sunday was one of the most extraordinary things I’ve seen watching football in all my life.

“I don’t quite understand how it happened but it was very regrettable and very very damaging to sport, when we had done everything we could to enable our players to play in very important games.

“It would make any reasonable club executive feel incredibly nervous about releasing players for overseas travel while we are in the midst of this crisis.”

Spurs chief executive Daniel Levy added: “It’s not good news, is it?”


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It is believed the four Prem stars, who will miss Thursday’s qualifier with Bolivia, will quarantine for ten days in the green list country of Croatia before returning to the UK.

Tottenham insist they were powerless to prevent their trio of stars from travelling to South America.

But Spurs are set to fine midfielder Lo Celso and centre-back Romero as well as Colombia defender Davinson Sanchez for disobeying club orders to play for their countries and undertake unauthorised trips.

Sanchez, who played in Colombia’s 1-1 draw in Paraguay on Sunday, is believed to be back in London.

Health officials stormed the pitch in Sao Paulo after six minutes to remove Lo Celso, Romero and Martinez. 

Buendia was not playing in the match. Prem chiefs feel the chaos has justified their decision not to release players.

I am not going to hide, we have been trying to find compromises and agreements with clubs, countries and Governments.


Gianni Infantino – Fifa President

Their choice meant Brazil’s nine English-based players, including Liverpool’s Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino, plus Manchester City’s Ederson and Gabriel Jesus, remained in the UK.

As a result, Tottenham’s trio will miss Saturday’s Premier League game with Crystal Palace and the Europa Conference tie at Rennes next week.

The Villa players will sit out this weekend’s Prem trip to Chelsea before being available to face Everton at Villa Park on September 18.

Fifa, under pressure to dole out punishments against both nations, said it “regrets the scenes” and promised a decision “in due course”.

But Fifa president Gianni Infantino, in a video address to the European Club Association, conceded: “We all saw what happened in Brazil. Some officials entered the pitch, took away some players. It is crazy but we need to deal with these issues.

“I am not going to hide, we have been trying to find compromises and agreements with clubs, countries and Governments.

“We have a difficult situation in the UK. Players have to go back to play for their countries.

“South American players stayed with their clubs in March. Now they have to play the qualifiers for their national teams.

“We have to protect the World Cup. September has not been ideal, so let’s find the right compromise for October and November and next year.”

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