As many as 10 important players for Premier League clubs are reportedly set to miss out on this weekend's fixtures due to action taken by a number of South American football associations.
According to Sky Sports, the Brazilian Football Confederation has asked FIFA to intervene and apply Article 5 to enforce the restriction period of 10 to 14 September on Premier League players whose clubs refused to release them for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Scroll through the gallery above to see 10 stars who are reportedly 'banned' from competing in this weekend's Premier League fixtures
Brazil had fixtures against Argentina and Peru lined up in this intenrtaional break, but their encounter with arch-rivals La Albiceleste on Sunday was called off just five minutes after kick-off when it was discovered that four Premier League players who were set to take part in the match had failed to fill out their paperwork correctly in a reported bid to dodge COVID-19 regulations.
It is said that the Article 5 rule, which is a five-day playing restriction, is automatically applied if a national football association requests it, as was agreed by FIFA's 211-member nations, according to the Daily Mail.
As a result, all the selected South American players who did not link up with their respective national squads in the latest international break, including those from Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and Paraguay, are now said to be ineligible to play in the Premier League this weekend, while some could miss next week Tuesday's UEFA Champions League matches too.
Chelsea and Manchester United play their UCL opening group games on 14 September against FC Zenit and Young Boys, respectively, which means Thiago Silva and Fred are set to miss out.
With Liverpool taking on Leeds United this weekend, both sides will be without key players including Brazilians Raphinha and Alisson Becker – scroll through the gallery above to see who else is reportedly set to miss EPL action this weekend.
It is believed, however, that negotiations between all the involved parties remain in progress.
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