Leeds United set to be dealt Raphinha blow with Liverpool also hit by Brazil dispute

Leeds United winger Raphinha looks set to miss this weekend's Premier League clash with Liverpool.

Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 2:01 pm
Leeds United winger Raphinha. Pic: Getty

The Whites wide man was called up to represent Brazil over the September international break but didn't travel home due to his nation being on the UK government's red-list amid Covid restrictions.

Eight other top flight players who were included in head coach Tite's squad also failed to show up for international duty because of the quarantine rules that would've been in place upon their return.

Players travelling back from South America would have been forced to isolate for 10 days and now instead look set to receive a five-day ban from competitive domestic matches.

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Five Premier League teams are likely to be missing their Brazilian contingent this weekend after FIFA was asked to implement a short-term ban by the Brazil Football Association for those who failed to report for the international games.

FIFA in turn has contacted the Football Association and the clubs concerned regarding the Brazilian federation's request. The world governing body may impose sanctions if the players do feature for their clubs when classed as being ineligible.

Leeds will meet Liverpool at Elland Road on Sunday afternoon (4.30pm) in the top flight with both club's now due to be hit by the incoming sanction.

Whites winger Raphinha will be among those ineligible to play as will Reds forward Roberto Firmino, goalkeeper Alisson Becker and midfielder Fabinho.

"We invited him [Raphinha] to make a decision and he decided no," United owner Andrea Radrizzani said earlier this week.

"He showed great respect for his club and the Premier League in giving up this opportunity to play for his country for the first time."

Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United are also set to be affected by the rule, which will ban players from games between September 10-14.

Everton, though, will be permitted to call on Richarlison after Brazil requested leniency towards the Goodison Park club with the Toffees making the forward available for last month's Olympics in Tokyo.

Players from Mexico, Paraguay and Chile are already unavailable for the same reasons with Wolves, Newcastle, Watford and Blackburn unable to field players in the coming days.

Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa will also be without four players between them after Emiliano Buendia, Emiliano Martinez, Cristian Romero and Giovani lo Celso represented Argentina.

Raphinha's ban could hand a swift debut to Whites deadline day signing Daniel James - who joined the club in a deal worth around £25m last week from arch rivals Manchester United.

The Wales international is yet to train with his new team-mates at Thorp Arch having headed away with his country in the immediate aftermath of the transfer.

The Premier League is said to be assessing its options ahead of this weekend's resumption of competition.