Liverpool believe FIFA has no basis with which to ban Premier League clubs from selecting South American players who were refused permission to go on international duty this weekend.
On Wednesday it was revealed that FIFA had invoked Article 5 to block Premier League clubs from selecting Brazilian players who they had refused to release for the latest round of international fixtures.
FIFA applied Article 5 to enforce the restriction period of September 10-14 at the request of the Brazilian Football Association, which would see the players miss this weekend’s round of Premier League fixtures and also Tuesday’s Champions League matches.
Liverpool would be one of the hardest hit by these restrictions with Alisson, Roberto Firmino and Fabinho all currently unavailable for the trip to face Leeds on Super Sunday, who themselves would have Raphinha unable to play.
Sky Sports News understands Liverpool believe that, due to the circumstances surrounding the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and the quarantine measures players would have had to face upon their return to the UK had they travelled, FIFA has no foundation with which to stop the players from being selected by their clubs this weekend.
Sky Sports News has been told that most of the affected clubs also believe FIFA has no basis to ban the players.
According to FIFA Article 22 of its Disciplinary Code, the sanctions that may be applied if these restrictions are ignored include fines and forfeiting the match 3-0, although it is unclear what might happen if Leeds and Liverpool, who meet at Elland Road on Super Sunday, both defied any FIFA ruling.
The Brazilian players who were not released for the World Cup qualifiers against Argentina and Peru also include Manchester United’s Fred, Thiago Silva at Chelsea as well as Manchester City’s Ederson and Gabriel Jesus.
It would mean Fred and Thiago Silva would also be ineligible for Manchester United’s visit to Young Boys and Chelsea’s clash with Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Watford head coach Xisco Munoz says the club are working towards a resolution after Chile asked FIFA to withdraw defender Francisco Sierralta. He was not released by Watford for Chile’s recent World Cup qualifiers.
It is also understood that the Premier League are continuing to have dialogue with the relevant bodies over the matter.
Sky Sports News has contacted FIFA for a response.
Last week, Sky Sports News reported that Chile, Mexico and Paraguay had called on FIFA to enforce the restriction period on Ben Brereton of Blackburn and Chile, Francisco Sierralta of Watford and Chile, Newcastle and Paraguay’s Miguel Almiron and Raul Jimenez of Wolves and Mexico.