There was a possibility for Dominik Szoboszlai to only play one match during the international break, but a relocation has since seen Hungary slam Bulgaria for their “unprecedented” organisation skills.
Szoboszlai is one of 18 Liverpool first-team players to represent their nation in the final international break of the year, but there had been a lot of uncertainty over the first of his two qualifiers.
Hungary face Bulgaria (Nov 16) and Montenegro (Nov 19) and can qualify for Euro 2024 with a victory in their first match, but there were doubts over whether it would even take place.
Bulgaria had initially moved the match to behind closed doors and changed the venue in fear of fan protests, but their choice of stadia was still under construction and could not be used.
Authorities in Plovdiv, where the game had been selected to be played, revoked their authorisation to host the match and the Bulgarian Football Union had to scramble to play at the Vasil Levski National Stadium without spectators.
UEFA received assurances that the match can be safely played out in Sofia, but the Hungarian football federation has slammed the Bulgarian Football Union.
“It is not even possible to organise a family holiday in this way, let alone an international football match with a huge stake, involving millions of people,” they said, via the BBC.
Bulgaria’s actions were described as “unprecedented, totally unjustified and grossly unsportsmanlike,” with Hungary receiving only a couple of days notice of the fixture details.
As captain of Hungary, Szoboszlai will feature prominently for his country – though, from a Liverpool point of view, he could do with a rest should his side secure qualification on Thursday.
The No. 8 has played the second-most minutes of any Red so far this season (1,242) and has featured in all but one of Liverpool’s opening 18 games.