The last international break was full of drama thanks to the Premier League’s decision to not release Brazilian players to their national team due to COVID-19 protocols that would have required them to quarantine upon their return to the United Kingdom.
Brazil eventually filed a complaint with FIFA that would have prevented said players from participating in club matches for five days, but they withdrew the complaint at the last minute, and the players were allowed to play for their clubs.
Unfortunately, it looks like this problem may rear its ugly head once again for the upcoming international break. There are rumblings that the UK government could ease restrictions for footballers so the Brazilian players can play for their national teams, but nothing has been decided yet.
To make matters worse, even if an agreement is reached that allows the Brazilian players to return with no restrictions, Liverpool’s Brazilian contingent of Alisson Becker and Fabinho are almost certain to miss Liverpool’s first post-break match thanks to the lateness of Brazil’s final match of the break, and manager Jürgen Klopp is not thrilled about the situation.
“We have a problem when the Brazilians are allowed, or when they go, to the next internationals,” said Klopp.
“We have a 12.30 kick-off at Watford (October 16). The game in Brazil is on Friday night (October 15), so obviously, nobody has thought about that yet.”
International fixture scheduling has often involved tight turnarounds for players who have to travel across multiple time zones to rejoin their clubs. Now, with the addition of a third match during international breaks to make up for matches that were missed thanks to the COVID 19 pandemic, the turnarounds have shrunk to the point of absurdity.
“I know it’s a Liverpool problem and nobody else’s problem, and good for Watford, but I just don’t know how you can do these kind of things where nobody reacts on the schedule,” lamented Klopp.
Unfortunately, the situation is entirely out of Klopp’s hands, so all he can do is hope that the government will intervene and alleviate the situation as much as possible.
“Another thing, it’s not good for the players or the clubs as well and I hope the Government comes up with some kind of solution.”