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Liverpool and European Club Association to Block Players Joining National Teams

The club will attempt to stop Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Fabinho, and Alisson joining their countries in September.

Egypt v South Africa: Round of 16 - 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Photo by Visionhaus

With the September international break looming, one major concern for Liverpool fans was what would happen to Mohamed Salah of Egypt and Brazilian trio Roberto Firmino, Fabinho Tavares, and Alisson Becker given current government mandates would force them into quarantine on their return.

Today, it’s clear that the club itself is highly concerned by the situation—as are many other clubs across England and Europe—with news that they intend to block the release of Salah for one of Egypt’s upcoming matches and to stop the Brazilian trio from joining their national team entirely.

That action will be undertaken in coordination with the European Club Association, who are taking the collective stance that players who would be required to quarantine on their return to clubs due to the situation in countries being played in by their national teams should not be released.

That decision would block Salah from joining Egypt for their home game against aNgola on September 1st. However, it would allow him to then join up for a game in Gabon on the 5th. For Brazil, with games set to be played in Chile and Brazil in September, the players would not be released at all.

Government mandate requires persons arriving from red listed coronavirus countries to quarantine for ten days. Should the quarantine requirements be changed—as, for example, by allowing vaccinated individuals to skip quarantine—the club would reportedly not attempt to block participation.

This stance by Liverpool and the ECA runs counter to current FIFA mandate, with football’s governing body earlier this year ruling clubs cannot prevent players from joining national teams even if doing so would require them travelling to countries on which travel restrictions have been placed.