Leeds United winger Raphinha given green light for Liverpool clash as Brazil drop FIFA complaint

Leeds United winger Raphinha has been given the green light to play against Liverpool this weekend.

Saturday, 11th September 2021, 9:00 am
Leeds United winger Raphinha. Pic: Getty

The 24-year-old Brazilian's involvement in Premier League action was in major doubt after his home nation asked FIFA to enforce a five-day ban on eight English-based players who failed to turn up for international duty.

Raphinha was handed a first call up by head coach Tite for the Seleção this month but was unable to travel for the World Cup qualifiers due to current Covid-19 restrictions in place.

Brazil is currently on the UK government's red-list and playing for his country would have meant a period of extended quarantine upon his return.

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Top flight clubs unanimously agreed to halt players from travelling to South America over the September break in fear of losing them for upcoming domestic games - though Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur both saw players represent Argentina.

The move saw Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Paraguay look to enforce Article 5 which FIFA had invoked to stop players featuring for their clubs in the immediate aftermath of the dedicated period for international games.

After several days of uncertainty, the governing bodies have all relented and waived their right to the suspension, which will see Premier League players made available for action this weekend without the fear of facing any sanctions.

A FIFA statement said: "Based on positive signals and constructive dialogue FIFA has received from the UK government towards the international match window in October, recognising that players have no control over the extreme situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and sanitary restrictions currently imposed and, as a sign of good faith, goodwill and cooperation, the member associations of Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Paraguay, in close consultation with FIFA, have taken the decision to withdraw their complaints in relation to the England-based players, and players bound to play in England, who were not released for the recent international matches.

"On 8 September 2021, the FIFA President, The FA Interim Chair and Premier League Chair sent a joint letter to the UK Prime Minister. The UK government is now open to find a reasonable solution with the three organisations, who are working closely together in a spirit of mutual understanding, in the interests of everyone."

Marcelo Bielsa's side will once again be able to call upon Raphinha for Sunday's hosting of Liverpool while the Reds can select first choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker and midfielder Fabinho.

Another of Jurgen Klopp's Brazilian contingent, Roberto Firmino, will be absent regardless in LS11 due to an injury picked up against Chelsea.

United's head coach said on Friday during his pre-match press conference that he would take advice from the club before taking any decision over whether to field Raphinha.

Bielsa, though, will face no such issue after a late breakthrough in talks between FIFA, the Premier League, the English Football Association and South America's governing football bodies.