The Reds’ Brazilian trio were all called up to represent Brazil during the September international break, a move that was then blocked due to the 10-day quarantine that would be required on their return.
But FIFA are now to enforce a five-day absence for the eight players from five clubs that failed to make the trip to South America following the Brazilian FA’s complaint, from September 10-14, as per The Times‘ Paul Joyce.
It means Jurgen Klopp will be unable to select Alisson or Fabinho against Leeds on Sunday, who they themselves are to be forced to be without Raphinha, while Roberto Firmino is to be absent through injury.
Everton, however, are in Brazil’s good books and Richarlison is exempt from the ruling, just to make matters more bemusing.
The manager will undoubtedly have a lot to say on the issue having been at the front of any discussion over player welfare.
But the silver lining, if any, is that Alisson and Fabinho will be available for the Champions League group stage opener against AC Milan, with the five-day period to end on August 14, the day before the Italian club’s visit to Anfield.
The clubs could, of course, choose to ignore the ruling and select their players but they could be forced to forfeit the match 3-0 if they choose to do so.
The ruling is one that will create tension between club and country with international breaks in October and November to see similar issues arise, putting players in the middle of the tug of war once more.
The absence of Liverpool’s No. 1 will see Caoimhin Kelleher make his first appearance for the season, while Fabinho‘s absence will open up a spot for the likes of Thiago, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita.