RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil called up eight English Premier League players on Friday for World Cup qualifiers while hoping to avoid a repeat of farcical scenes which saw health officials come on the field to interrupt the team’s match against Argentina earlier this month.
FIFA is hoping the British government eases the quarantine requirements for players in time for this set of qualifiers in October. English clubs collectively agreed not to release players to countries on the government’s coronavirus “red list” for September’s internationals, which included Brazil.
Quarantine exemptions for Premier League players are being discussed in a bid to avoid a fresh dispute. There remains a possibility of an agreement being reached to avoid players having to quarantine for 10 days on their return.
FIFA has still to decide the fate of Brazil’s suspended clash with Argentina. The game was stopped after seven minutes due to four Argentina players — England-based players Emiliano Martinez, Emiliano Buendia, Giovanni Lo Celso, and Cristian Romero — allegedly breaching coronavirus protocols. Three of the players were on the field at the time.
The English-based players called up by Brazil coach Tite on Friday are Alisson and Fabinho from Liverpool, Ederson and Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City, Emerson Royal of Tottenham, Thiago Silva from Chelsea, Manchester United midfielder Fred and Raphinha from Leeds.
Brazil will play Venezuela on Oct. 7 in Caracas, Colombia three days later in Barranquilla and then host Uruguay on Oct. 14 in Manaus.
Brazil’s soccer confederation has already requested quarantine waivers to the federal government so its Premier League players and Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani can be fielded in the third match in Manaus.
Brazil leads South American qualifying with 24 points in eight matches.
Goalkeepers: Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City) and Weverton (Palmeiras).
Defenders: Thiago Silva (Chelsea), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Éder Militão (Real Madrid), Lucas Veríssimo (Benfica), Danilo (Juventus), Alex Sandro (Juventus), Guilherme Arana (Atlético Mineiro), Emerson Royal (Tottenham).
Midfielders: Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fabinho (Liverpool), Fred (Manchester United), Éverton Ribeiro (Flamengo), Lucas Paquetá (Lyon), Gerson (Olympique Marseille), Edenílson (Internacional).
Forwards: Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Matheus Cunha (Atletico Madrid), Raphinha (Leeds), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Gabriel Barbosa (Flamengo), Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid), Antony (Ajax).
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