Wed, 29 Sep 2021

London [UK], September 11 (ANI): World football's main governing body, FIFA on Saturday confirmed that the Premier League clubs can select players from Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Mexico for the matches this weekend after doubts over their availability.

The South American federations have now agreed to waive the rule, following extensive discussions with FIFA. This means Alisson, Fabinho, Roberto Firmino (all Liverpool), Thiago Silva (Chelsea), Ederson, Gabriel Jesus (both Manchester City), and Raphinha (Leeds) are all eligible again this weekend. Furthermore, Wolves' Raul Jimenez, Watford's Francisco Sierralta, and Miguel Almiron from Newcastle United are also free from suspension.

"Based on positive signals and constructive dialogue FIFA has received from the UK government towards the international match window in October, recognising that players have no control over the extreme situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and sanitary restrictions currently imposed and, as a sign of good faith, goodwill, and cooperation, the member associations of Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Paraguay, in close consultation with FIFA, have taken the decision to withdraw their complaints in relation to the England-based players, and players bound to play in England, who were not released for the recent international matches," the statement by FIFA read.

"On 8 September 2021, the FIFA President, The FA Interim Chair, and Premier League Chair sent a joint letter to the UK Prime Minister. The UK government is now open to find a reasonable solution with the three organisations, who are working closely together in a spirit of mutual understanding, in the interests of everyone," the statement added.

Notably, FIFA had applied Article 5 to enforce the restriction period of September 10-14. The five-day rule is designed to protect international teams from unnecessary, club-influenced withdrawals.

This dispute erupted in August after Premier League clubs had unanimously decided not to release players for international matches which were to be played in red-list countries. The clubs' decision was then strongly supported by the Premier League and applied to nearly 60 players from 19 Premier League clubs who were due to travel to 26 red-list countries in the September international window. (ANI)

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