New quarantine ruling alters picture in Raphinha's bid to represent Brazil and then Leeds United on international return

Leeds United winger Raphinha has received a huge boost in his bid to represent Brazil this month, aimed also at causing minimum disruption to his club football with the Whites.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 3:51 pm
Updated Friday, 1st October 2021, 3:52 pm

Raphinha has been named in Brazil boss Tite's squad for October's World Cup qualifiers which involve away clashes against Venezuela and Colombia plus a home fixture against Uruguay.

All three destinations are red-list countries in the UK Government's ongoing fight against coronavirus but a bespoke quarantine exemption has been agreed between the Premier League, the Government and the health authorities which will enable fully vaccinated players to travel and then play for their clubs on their return.

The agreement was reached after assurances were given that players would be in Covid-secure 'bubbles' with their national teams and on return to their clubs.

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BRAZIL BOOST: For Leeds United winger Raphinha. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images.

Arrivals from red-list countries, even those who are double vaccinated, are usually required to quarantine for 10 days in a Government-approved hotel.

But it is understood that players will not be able to quarantine at home and must instead use a club facility, which they can only leave once a day to train or play.

A Government spokesperson said: "We have worked closely with football authorities to achieve an outcome that balances the interests of both club and country while maintaining the highest levels of public health and safety.

"Our best defence against the virus is vaccination and these new measures will allow fully vaccinated players to fulfil their international duties in the safest, most practical way possible, while allowing them to train and play with their clubs as early as possible upon their return."

Whites winger Raphinha was named in his country's national squad for the first time for September's internationals but was not allowed to travel due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

Despite not traveling, Raphinha's involvement in Premier League action was then 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.

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.

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 all relented and waived their right to the suspension.

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Thank you Laura Collins